from Amphibious Force Pacific Fleet – The Amphibian ~ September 1952
You’ve often heard the comment “He did it all by himself.” The statement applies whether it is made about a success or a failure. Life is what you make it. it can be a success or it can be a failure.
There are two conclusions that you can reach concerning your life. “I have played the fool,” was the solemn finding of Saul, the first King of Israel. here was a man richly endowed by God with the attributes of a great man. Saul had a magnificent physique, a jovial personality, unbounded physical courage–desirable qualities which count toward brilliance and achievement. Yet Saul made a fool of himself, his religion, and his position. Saul was a giant who became a pigmy. He was one of the greatest wasters of all history; his life and all his potentialities were wasted. When Saul lost his faith in God he lost his ability to do the right thing at the right time. “He played the fool.”
Another Saul came to an entirely different conclusion. He was Saul of Tarsus, who said, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, and I have kept the faith.” These were among the last recorded words of this Saul, who became the great missionary. Looking through the bars of his Roman dungeon Paul reviewed a life full of sacrifices. He could have looked back and pitied himself. But, instead, he forgot the things which were behind and pushed on toward his goal. here was a life rich and full and useful; rich, not in earthly possessions, power or position, but in a more important sense. Paul was not afraid of what the future held for him, for he knew that the future would take care of itself.
What a difference between these tow men! Which one are you like? Will your friends say of you, “He lived a useful life,” or will it be “He was a man of wasted talents?”
when we can look back and say, “I have done my best; I have drunk my fill from the pool of achievement,” only then will we rest in the assurance that we have earned a complete and lasting peace–both for ourselves and our fellowmen.
then we will realize that life is what we made it. But the important thing is to realize now that life is what we make it, and to strive to improve ourselves in every way. Grasp and capitalize on every opportunity; make the most of it. Your life is what you yourself make it–in cooperation with God.