The Training Ground of Life
In a few days’ time the Commonwealth Games will get under way on the Gold Coast. Thousands of contestants from over 70 countries around the world will compete in a range of disciplines for the prize of a Commonwealth Games gold medal. That medal represents victory. It stands for excellence. It is also a testimony to faithful training – prolonged, extensive and diligent training.
By its very nature, however, training is invariably mundane and routine. There are few people, if any, to witness the early morning run on the track or the lap of the swimming pool. There are no shouts of support or rounds of applause to encourage these efforts. Yet training is vital if the goal is to be achieved. If a competitor’s training regime has been deficient, it will show in his or her performance.
What is true of sporting achievements often applies to life itself. Great accomplishments result from faithfulness in everyday efforts, usually away from the glare of publicity.
An example is Professor Ian Frazer, who was the 2006 Australian of the Year. He was honoured and recognised for his work in developing vaccines to prevent and to treat cervical cancer. However, behind this public recognition was 20 years of pain-staking research, diligence, and perseverance. No doubt there were long hours of routine, possibly boring, work in the laboratory conducting hundreds of experiments, keeping records and noting outcomes.
The great inventor Thomas Edison once said that genius was 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. The wise man Solomon put it this way:
“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.” (Ecclesiastes 9:10)
So let us not give up on those days when the tasks are rather boring and our efforts do not appear to be particularly productive. Faithfulness and perseverance in the everyday routine of life are the qualities upon which significant achievements are based.