“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt
(Excerpt from the speech “Citizenship In A Republic” delivered at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France on 23 April, 1910)
I don’t know about you, but this quotation inspires me and gives me a lot of hope!
When I returned from the religious life, I felt judged by many people, including myself.
“How could I have been so stupid?”
“Why did you give all of your things away?”
“Of course you weren’t good enough.”
Yet, I tried. And so did you.
If we wouldn’t have tried, would we have wondered the rest of our lives, “What if?”
I have my good days and my bad days. But even on my bad days I can’t kick myself for not trying.
And that’s pretty awesome.
Thank you Pinkie, what a great quote, and your words are honest and true!
Thanks for the encouragement!
Thanks for this.
It takes a LOT of courage to get out in front of the world and say, “This is what I want, and this is who I am.” It’s courageous specifically because it’s opening oneself up to rejection, criticism, and — in our western culture, a terrible possibility: uncertainty. We do not know the outcome when we fling ourselves headfirst into love. We do it because, in order to be wholly ourselves, we must know who we are and BE who we are. We must examine what it is that makes us ourselves, and makes us God’s, and this requires scrutiny in the light — where others, too, can see us and examine us. It means vulnerability. Some do not have the strength to stand in the light. And these people (IMO) cannot understand what it is to be wholly loved because they refuse to admit to all of their of parts. It is absolutely necessary to stand in that lit arena. And when the lights come up, you’ll realize that there weren’t all that many spectators, anyway. That most people — even those sitting there in the stands — are busy rehearsing for THEIR time in the arena. And most likely the critic who was paying the most attention was you.
Thanks for the comment! The author thinks it’s better than the original blog! 🙂
We really do not know who we are until we test our vision of ourselves in the light of Christ. Erring is a result of true effort, a sign of our humaness. Trying is a sign of our trust in the promise of Our Lord. Thank you for this reflection. It will not be easy for me to ignore the thoughts it will bring to my mind for some time to come.
Beautiful! I hope you share your further reflections if you feel comfortable!
Juli, I love your point about trust!
Not many people can say they actually risked it all. It takes a LOT of courage to sell all that you have for the sake of the Gospel! Its pretty awesome to know that I risked it all for Him, and I continue to do so as I discern what God has in store for me next.
Thank you for sharing that! I am so encouraged by your hopeful attitude towards the future. I need to reflect on that more myself!