It was hard coming to work this morning. It might have been due to the particularly difficult passage of Scripture I had to preach on yesterday or regret over the conflict I had with my sons the night before or the number of complex problems that I needed to attend to during the week. Whatever it was, I lacked my usual energy and enthusiasm for pastoral duites. I had little motivation to do anything that required any amount of work.
Then I came across this short piece of prose by Theodore Rosevelt (from The Art of Manliness – one of many interesting and amusing blogs I subscribe to). Theodore Roosevelt, often referred to as Teddy or TR served as the 26th President of the United States, from 1901 to 1909. A leader of the Republican Party, he was a leading force of the Progressive Era. Putting politics aside, this man was an exceptional leader. In May 1903 he gave an addrress at San Bernardino California. This is what he had to say on the subject of everyday duty:
“I would plead with my countrymen to show not any special brilliancy, or special genius, but the ordinary humdrum commonplace qualities which in the aggregate spell success for the nation, and spell success for the individual. Remember that the chance to do the great heroic work may or may not come. If it does not come, then all that there can be to our credit is the faithful performance of every-day duty. That is all that most of us throughout our lives have the chance to do, and it is enough, because it is the beginning, because it means most for the Nation when done, and if the time for the showing of heroism does come you may guarantee that those who show it are most likely to be the people who have done their duty in average times as the occasion for doing the duty arose.”
It was a good reminder to me about the importance of steady, faithful duty – amidst the mundane. Thank you Mr. Roosevelt, for motivating and inspiring the little leaders like me to get on and do the next thing.