Theodore Roosevelt said :
"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 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 and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiams, the great devotions, who spends himself for 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 he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat."
Roosevelt, our 25th President, knew what he was talking about. He was a sickly child who suffered from asthma. He studied at home and was particularly fascinated by natural history. To compensate for his physical weakness, he began a regimen of rigorous physical training.
In 1901, after President McKinley was assassinated, Roosevelt became President, at the age of 42.
Roosevelt is known for his larger-than-life personality and adventurous spirit. He is remembered not only for being President, but also for his successes as a naturalist, explorer, author, and soldier.
Theodore Roosevelt is a great example of a man who never shrank from a challenge, refusing to be limited by a weak and sickly body, or later, by the political challenges of his day.
The writer of Hebrews exhorts us, as believers, to live a life of faith and courage, and to consider the lives of those from ages past who did not shrink from worshiping and obeying God in spite of the challenges, or the threat of torture or death at the hands of those who hate God.
In the latter chapters of Hebrews, the author reminds us of Abel, of Enoch, and Noah, and Abraham, and Moses, and others who rose to their own faith-challenges.
"Therefore since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."
We've got a great future, if we'll just keep on remembering our history!