«l returned and saw under the sun that— the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, Nor bread to the wise, nor riches to men of understanding, Nor favor to men of skill; but time and chance happen to them all»(Ecclesiastes 9:11).
John Harrison, born in the 18th century, was a British watchmaker who designed the first marine stopwatch. With it, he could measure the longitude and position of the boats in the sea. Thanks to this invention, the foundations of modern navigation were laid. The government offered a very large sum of money and a prize to the person who resolved the problem of that moment. It took Harrison his whole life to find the final solution, but at the same time, he relied on a whole life of preparation and dedication to other areas; that enabled him to perfect his invention.
His first profession was as a carpenter and, with his detailed work, he made his first pendulum clock before his 20th birthday. He spent entire nights with his brother improving the accuracy of their machines, keeping in mind the passage of the stars. He spent hours and hours in his workshop making the seconds really pass as seconds.
When we study the lives of great people, we see that although some achieved remarkable achievements at an early age, they were mainly individuals who added small actions throughout their lives that led them to the final recognition for which they are remembered. They went through adversity and needs until they achieved their mission.
Perhaps we usually put together a person’s name and his or her invention or greatest achievement, but the time of dedication—a common and determining factor— , perseverance, and effort are rarely mentioned.
«Young men should remember that they are accountable for all the privileges they have enjoyed, for the improvement of their time, and for the right use of their abilities» (Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, sec. 9, P. 337).
This Sabbath, spend some special time talking to God, evaluating the skills you have and whether you are setting aside special time to give them better use. It will be the sum of small good deeds over time that will give you a good name and a better influence of blessing.