As I think back on the time that we had in Episode #16 “Unashamed” with Nick Anderson on the Richest Men In Town podcast, so many things resonate, even now weeks after the episode was recorded. Especially lately I cannot help but think of one of the quotes that came out in our conversation. It’s the famous “Man In The Arena” quote from President Theodore Roosevelt…
“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.”
In my life, I always want to be in the arena. Men that I admire, those “richest men in town” kind of men, are found in life’s arena. We need to be the doers of deeds-and while we could always do them better, done is always better than perfectly planned but undone.
In this life, we strive valiantly and many times we make mistakes or come up short. Along the way, we have known incredible highs and devastating lows. Through all of the dust, sweat, and blood we spend ourselves in worthy causes
Two words from that quote scream for my attention and I would like to take some time to discuss them further with you…
What does that look like in our lives? What does that feel like in our lives? When was the last time you dared greatly?
Thinking of scriptural accounts, I think of…
Daring greatly like Moses as he took the children of Israel across dry ground and was delivered from the armies of the Pharaoh. Elder David A. Bednar made this point on this well-known account:
“Taking action is the exercise of faith. The children of Israel are carrying the ark of the covenant. They come to the water. The promise is they will cross over on dry land. When does the water part? When their feet are wet. They walk into the water—act. Power follows—the water parts.
We oftentimes believe, ‘I’m going to have this perfect understanding, and then I’m going to transform that into what I do.’ I would suggest that we have enough to get started. We have a sense of the right direction. Faith is a principle—the principle—of action and of power. True faith is focused in and on the Lord Jesus Christ and always leads to action.”
I could go on with other examples from the scriptures. There’s David in his showdown with Goliath. I love the account of Elijah challenging the false priests of Baal to call down fire from heaven. Or how about when Peter and John challenged the man at the temple asking for alms with these bold words: “Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.” And of course we have the exemplary life of the Savior Jesus Christ who everyday dared greatly to teach, to love, to serve, and to save everyone around Him and the entire human family.
Again I ask the question to all of us…when was the last time that you dared greatly in your life? If you are there, in the arena, like our RMIT friend Nick Anderson is…don’t you quit. If you are not…tune in to the RMIT podcast, find your inspiration to do better and be better. After all, what are you waiting for?