A great life doesn’t come easy.  The scriptures say even of Jesus that He “learned obedience from the things He suffered.”  Behind every life is a story of struggle and self-discipline and willingness to try one more time.  Look at George Herman Ruth.  He is a classic example of what I am saying.  Most people know him as the “The Babe,” one of the most notable figures in American baseball.  Yankee Stadium is sometimes called “the house that Ruth built.”  He is most remembered for hitting 714 career homeruns.  In 1927 he hit 60 in one season.  An interesting side is that in his career he also struck out 1,330 times.  He struck out almost twice as many times as he hit homeruns, but no one remembers that.  No one cares.  Babe Ruth is remembered as a success because, though he struck out time and again, he kept on picking up the bat, going to the plate and swinging at the ball.

            What we need to learn is that success is not a plateau; it’s a process.  It’s not so much an arrival as it is a striving after.  We often think of success in financial terms.  But what does it mean to be financially successful?  How much money does one have to have?  The answer is of course, relative.  I’ll tell you what I think it means.   I think it means a man or woman who is working hard and honestly, but still has time for family and friends; who handles money wisely and well and who invests money in such a fashion as to honor God by enriching his own life and the lives of others.  That person is financially successful.  He hasn’t just arrived; he’s just on his way.

            The same thing is true in the spiritual realm.  The person who is succeeding in his Christian virtue is the one who is on a steady course of growth and learning.  He may have just started, or he may be years down the road; but if he’s on his way, he’s a success.

            If at first you don’t succeed, try again.  The very daily struggle is a success story all its own.

            I cannot believe that God has programmed any of us for failure.  He wants your life and mine to be the fullest, richest experience that it can possibly be.  Get hold of that idea and let it transform your life.  Go out and face the daily challenges with the firm connection that God is here.  Then the effort is no longer drudgery; it’s a privilege.  It’s a kind of victory of its own.

            In recent years hundreds of books have been written on the subject of success and how to attain it.  In them you can find many varied and worthwhile suggestions.  But I have become convinced that people who succeed in any area of life all have this one thing in common – when they fall down – they all get up.  “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”