Be a person in the arena

Good morning everyone,
Our theme for this month: “Steadfast and immovable”
Our Bible verse for today: “Therefore, since we also have a such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every hindrance and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith.” Hebrews 12:1-2 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Be the person in the arena”
On April 23, 1910 President Teddy Roosevelt gave a speech at the Sorbonne University in Paris, France. The title of the speech was “Citizenship in a Republic”. It was a good and inspiring speech in its entirety, but one passage has become especially famous and often repeated. The passage is often referred as “The Man in the Arena”. Here it is:
“It is not the critic that counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but he who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great devotion; who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails while daring greatly, knows that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls, who know neither victory nor defeat.”
Teddy was writing about someone who willingly enters into situations which require courage, skill, or tenacity, and then continues to strive and to push forward despite the obstacles – as opposed to someone who sits on the sidelines of life watching and critiquing the efforts of those who are actually attempting and doing things (often hard things).
For years I’ve had a framed copy of that quote in my office and I look at it frequently. I find it inspiring and encouraging, especially when times are hard and progress seems slow or non-existent. Teddy’s words also remind me of the words of the writer of the letter to the Hebrews in 12:1-2 (above). God calls us to run the race of life (a marathon); keeping our eyes on Jesus; continually pressing on and moving forward.
I encourage you to be a person in the arena of life. Don’t sit on the sidelines watching as others accomplish meaningful things for the cause of Christ. Be a part of it. And when times get tough and progress is hard, lean into it, push forward, keep moving, be steadfast and immovable in your resolve to be a doer of deeds rather than just an observer of them.
God bless,
Pastor Jim
Copyright © 2022 Oak Hill Baptist Church, All rights reserved.

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