Someone once asked Paul Harvey, the journalist and radio commentator, to reveal the
secret of his success. "I get up when I fall down," said Harvey.
Pieces, March 3, 1994, p. 16.
The 1992 Summer Olympics featured two tremendously poignant moments. American sprinter
Gail Devers, the clear leader in the 100 meter hurdles, tripped over the last barrier. She
agonizingly pulled herself to her knees and crawled the last five meters, finishing
Even more heart-rending was the 400 meter semifinal in which British runner Derek
Redmond tore a hamstring and fell to the track. He struggled to his feet and began to
hobble, determined to complete the race. His father ran from the stands to help him off
the track, but the athlete refused to quit. He leaned on his father, and the two limped to
the finish line together, to deafening applause.
E. Anderson, "What Makes Olympic Champions?", Reader's Digest, February 1994,
Everybody recognizes that Ludwig van Beethoven was a musical genius. But few realize
the adversity he had to overcome to achieve greatness. In his twenties, Beethoven began to
lose his hearing. Because he couldn't feel the music as he once had, on one occasion he
said his fingers became "thick." His hearing problems haunted him into the
middle years of his life, but he kept it a guarded secret. By the time he reached his
fifties, Beethoven was completely deaf. But he refused to give up. He was once overheard
shouting at the top of his voice, "I will take life by the throat!" Many of his
biographers believe the only reason Beethoven remained productive for so long was this
Today in the Word, September 5, 1993.
As a young man, film director Robert Flaherty spent many months in the far north
looking for iron ore and cod. He found neither, but he did shoot 70,000 feet of film in
his travels. Someone encouraged him to edit the film and make a documentary, which
Flaherty spent weeks doing. But just as he finished, a match from his cigarette dropped
among the celluloid, consuming the entire film and burning Flaherty badly. His response to
the disaster was a determination to return to the far north and make a film of Eskimo life
"that people will never forget." He did just that, and the result was the
classic 1922 documentary, Nanook of the North.
Today in the Word, July 19, 1993.
D.L. Moody had a keen memory for names and faces. If one of his children was missing
from Sunday school, he knew it, and he would do everything possible to find out why. One
day he saw an absentee coming down the street, so he took off after her. She ran down the
sidewalk, across the street, and through an alley into a saloon, up the stairs to a back
apartment, into the bedroom, and then dived under the bed. Moody went after her, and just
as he was claiming his prize, the mother showed up. Panting from the exertion, Moody
simply explained, "I'm Moody," He said that he had missed the girl and would be
happy if all the family could come to the services. Within a few weeks he had every child
in the family in his school.
W. Wiersbe, The Wycliffe Handbook of Preaching &
Preachers, p. 203.
As Abraham Lincoln prepared to sign the Emancipation Proclamation, he took his pen,
moved it to the signature line, paused for a moment, and then dropped the pen. When asked
why, the president replied, "If my name goes into history, it will be for this act,
and if my hand trembles when I sign it, there will be some who will say, 'he
hesitated.'" Lincoln then turned to the table, took up the pen, and boldly signed his
Today in the Word, July, 1990, p. 8.
A young fellow wanted to be a star journalist but lived in a small town (not much
possibility). One day the dam upstream broke and the town was flooded. He got in a rowboat
and headed out to look for a story. Found a lady sitting on her rooftop. He tied up the
boat and told her what he was after. (They both watched as various items floated by). She
says, "Now there's a story." "No, that's not a story." Finally a hat
floats by and then does a 180 degree turn, goes upstream a ways and does another 180
degree turn, etc. The fellow says, "There's a story." "Oh no, that's not a
story. "That's my husband Hayford. He said that he was going to mow the lawn come
hell or high water!"
Nothing in the world
Can take the place of persistence.
Talent will not;
Nothing is more common
Than unsuccessful men
Genius will not:
Is almost a proverb.
Education will not;
The world is full of
Persistence and determination
Alone are important
Anonymous. Charles Swindoll, Living Above the Level of