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Sermon Illustrations: Achievement

Anecdotes

Ben Jonson was one of the most brilliant playwrights ever to come out of England. When he was a boy, he was so ugly and his clothing so ridiculous that he was tormented by his own schoolmaster. Attempting to escape from his anguish, he spent his time reading. At 18 years of age, he was working as a bricklayer. But by the time he was in his thirties, he was writing for the court of King James I, and in his late forties was awarded an honorary Master of Arts by Oxford University.


Oliver Goldsmith was considered to be stupid in his village school. When he finally obtained a college degree, he was the lowest on the list. Rejected for the ministry, he tried law but with the same results. He borrowed a suit of clothes to sit for an examination as a hospital mate, but failed and had to pawn his clothes. He lived in attics and failed at everything he tried. There was only thing he wanted to do: write. He did this and managed to rise above the handicaps of poverty, illness, and obscurity to take his place among the greatest writers ever.


Charles Zibelman's dream was to be famous as a long-distance swimmer. He trained intensively and began making sports headlines with his amazing aquatic achievements. First, he established an endurance record by swimming for 80 hours consecutively. Then, near Honolulu, he swam for 100 continuous hours. Still not content, he decided to attempt to swim the Hudson River from Albany to New York City. Battling hunger, fatigue and sleepiness, he amazed everyone by completing the 147 mile trip non-stop. Zibelman is still regarded as the most outstanding long-distance swimmer because he not only taught himself to swim, but had no legs!


Jon Krakauer finally reached the summit of Mt Everest 10th May, 1996. Several of those who had climbed with him had died on the way. Later he wrote, "I understood on some dim, detached level that [it] was a spectacular sight. I'd been fantasising about this moment, and the release of emotion that would accompany it, for many months. But now that I was finally here, standing on the summit of Mt Everest, I just couldn't summon the energy to care."


Quotes

Unless we see what God sees we're not going to achieve what God wants us to achieve. Raj Kumar.


You can't soar like an eagle if you hang around turkeys. Kong Hee


Remember: Noah's ark was built by amateurs, the Titanic by professionals.