Saturday, November 22, 2008

I have been reading in Orison Swett Marden’s book “Pushing to the Front”. In this chapter on “Opportunity” I think it will give you a flavor of the whole book.

Opportunities! Every life is full of them. Every lesson in school or college is and opportunity. Every examination is a chance in life. Every patient is an opportunity. Every newspaper article, every client is an opportunity. Every sermon is an opportunity, - an opportunity to be polite; an opportunity to be manly, an opportunity to be honest; an opportunity to make friends. Every proof of confidence in you is a great opportunity. Every responsibility thrust upon your strength and your honor is priceless. Existence is the privilege of effort, and when that privilege is met like a man, opportunities to succeed along the line of your aptitude will come faster than you can use them. If a slave like Fred Douglass, who did not even own his own body, can elevate himself into an orator, editor, statesman, what might you do?”

“On the morning of September 6th, 1838, a young woman in the Longstone Lighthouse, between England and Scotland, was awakened by shrieks of agony rising above the roar of wind and wave. A storm of unwonted fury was raging, and her parents could not hear the cries; but a telescope showed nine human beings clinging to the windlass of a wrecked vessel whose bow was hanging on the rocks half a mile away. “We can do nothing, it is too dangerous” said William Darling, the lighthouse keeper. “Ah, yes, we must go to the rescue,” exclaimed his daughter, pleading tearfully with both her father and mother, until her father replied: “Very well, Grace, I will let you persuade me, though it is against my better judgment.”
Like a feather in a whirlwind the little boat was tossed on the tumultuous sea, but borne on the blast that swept the cruel surge, the shrieks of those shipwrecked sailors seemed to change her weak sinews into cords of steel. Strength hitherto unsuspected came from somewhere, and the heroic girl pulled one oar in even time with her father. At length the nine were safely on board. “God Bless you; but you’re a bonny English lass,” said one poor fellow, as he looked wonderingly upon this marvelous girl, who that day had done a deed which added more to England’s glory than the exploits of many of her monarchs.”

I love stories like this one, and now that I have a brain, I read and pass on stories of this kind to my kids and grandkids. I believe they make indelible marks on their minds and hearts that I truly believe will bear fruit over and over throughout their lives.

Painting from the Internet


Anonymous said...

WOW! I absolutely loved this post. I was feeling quite foolish this morning, and this post erased every ounce of self-pity and instilled my soul with courage and love.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I am almost certain that your grandaughters will never forget that story and it will have a lasting impact on the rest of their lives. I hope they really listened and shared their thoughts with you.

Anonymous said...

P.S. I'm stealing this one for my blog. I never want to forget it.

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hi Fred :)

This is a gem of a post.

It will inspire not only children but also many older people like me.

Very often we miss opportunities because we don't act in time or due to laziness and indifference.

The girl's courage is exemplary. She even persuaded her reluctant father to risk his life. Youngsters are brave and do impossible things.

Many thanks for this great post.

Have a nice day :)

FCB said...

Hi Anon,
I am so glad that you enjoyed that story, I felt the same way about it. I couldn't help but feel this young lady had lived under the loving nurture of Christian parents who taught her the priciples of love and when this opportunity came, everything within her was prepared to act. "Let waves come, wind blow, as for me I have been prepared for this very hour", and nothing could have held her back. I have no doubt the father who lived by the sea knew the dangers, knew his limitations and those of his craft, and those of his daughter, and putting it all aside braved the sea, with great jeopardy to himself and his daughter. That would have been a heroic choice as well. Great stuff.
God bless.

Hi Joseph, I'm also glad you liked it, it certainly inspired me.
God bles,

Mel said...

Beautiful! I will be sharing this one with my own kids, and hopefully my Awana class as well. Thank you for posting this!