In Jim Collins book Great by Choice he reminds us that life offers no guarantees. It’s always conceivable that game-ending events and unyielding forces, like disease, accident, financial misfortune, war, or any myriad of other things can overthrow our best efforts. And yet we still must live out our commitments.
When the challenges come, when we’re worn out, fearful, or tempted, Collins asks; “What choice do we make? Do we abandon our values? Do we give in? Do we accept average performance because that’s what most everyone else accepts? Do we capitulate to the pressure of the moment? Do we give up on our dreams when we’ve been slammed by brutal facts?” He goes on to say that the people who made impact, “cared as much about values as victory, as much about purpose as profit, as much about being useful as being successful. Their drive and standards are ultimately internal, rising from somewhere deep inside.”
The conclusion he makes… “We are not imprisoned by our circumstances. We are not imprisoned by the luck we get or the inherent unfairness of life. We are not imprisoned by crushing setbacks, self-inflicted mistakes or our past success. We are not imprisoned by the times in which we live, by the number of hours in a day or even the number of hours we’re granted in our very short lives. In the end, we can control only a tiny sliver of what happens to us. But even so, we are free to choose, free to become great by choice.”
Today as we consider Long Haul Faithfulness, may we be encouraged to stay the course. Like Paul, may we fight the good fight… finish the race & keep the faith.