By P Chong                                                                                         Friday, 8 January 2010

Statue of Abraham Lincoln

A log cabin in Lincoln’s time

The story of persistence is best told through the life of Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States of America. He dreamt of being the President even in the days when he was sleeping in his log cabin.

A lesser person would have quit and died incognito. To him, however, success was a persistent achievement, not just a mere dream. His genius lay in the power of exerting everlasting effort – staying on the track even though the odds were impossible & defeats were ever present.

Lincoln failed for period of 30 years as from 1831. He failed in business in 1833, congress in 1848, and would you believe it, he entered the Black Hawk War as a captain & came out as a private. He was absolutely and totally prepared for failure. Yet while others failed & gave up, he went on to become the GREATEST PRESIDENT OF AMERICA in 1860.

His life story was indeed remarkable, beginning with his humble origin and culminating with his dramatic death on April 14, 1865.



To give you a broader perspective on Persistence, here are more illustrations:

This is the proverbial statement written by Calvin Coolidge in 1919:

Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.

Talent will not; nothing is more common

than unsuccessful men with talent.

Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.

Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.

Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.

The slogan ‘Press On’ has solved & will always solve the problems of human race.

Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance. – Samuel Johnson

If there is no struggle there is no progress. – Frederick Douglass

In golf, there’s always a chance that favours those who persist.

And not least of all, if she should run away, pursue & persist in your pursuit!

You can thus see that Persistence is totally indispensable.


The Day Of Small Things

The Day of Small Things

In school we used to learn these memorable poetic lines:

“Little drops of water

Little drops of sand

Make a mighty ocean

Make a mighty land.”


Beauty in Both Big & Small

Despise not the small little things in life. They could amount to something more gigantic than you ever know. Abraham Lincoln was born in a log cabin. Who would have thought that he would turn out to be one of American’s greatest presidents? Or what of the little acorn that grows into a gigantic oak tree. It’s in the nature of things that the due process of growth and maturing must progress its course. We say “Don’t grow old, but grow up” for we are supposed to acquire wisdom, patience and understanding through our life’s experiences which should hold us steadfast in the adventures of life.

The Son of God, Jesus, spent 30 years of His early life learning and acquiring His skill as a carpenter, identifying Himself with mankind through work. This is all in preparation for His public ministries, when He could relate to all aspects of human life. Speaking from personal experiences give you that creditable authority which is not acquired through academic learning. Jesus could relate Himself to the farmers, fishermen, landowners or tax collectors. The simplicity of Christ’s teaching sells, whereas complexity often repels.

As in nature, we must realise that life is a journey of one great preparation. To be a doctor, we need to spend six long years of learning plus another year of internship. Even to be a teacher requires two to three years of study. Moses spent 40 long years in his preparation as the leader of the Israelites. Paul, one, who is credited with spreading the Gospel far and wide, was likewise not spared the period of apprenticeship. Nothing can substitute your life’s experiences, big or small.

We’ve got to learn the daily lessons of small things before acquiring the experiences of big things. Whatever jobs you’re holding, learn from it and master it. As you learn and progress, greater tasks and responsibilities will be placed upon you. God may put you in all kinds of situations to test and train you – preparing you for greater things ahead. Be steadfast and faithful for your life to be full.

“Who despises the day of small things?” – Zechariah 4:10

Paul Chong

A Chinese by Descent

An Australian by Consent