Guest post by Phil Clemens, 3rd Generation Chair/CEO, The Clemens Family Corp., Hatfield, PA
From time to time, we all need encouragement to keep on “keeping on” when we are driven by a compelling vision or we are stewarding or creating. Read on for thoughts from Phil Clemens on this topic. What “rocks” are you hitting today?
“When nothing seems to help, I go and look at the stone-cutter hammering away at his rock perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that blow that did it – but all that had gone before.” Jacob Riis
Sometimes our work can seem like the stone-cutter. We keep doing the right things and never seem to get the intended results. We may get weary and give up when that is just the time we need to press on.
Every stone-cutter begins with a big rock. The stone-cutter has a very good idea of what he wants the finished product to look like, but there is no guarantee the rock will allow him to do what he wants. Still he presses on using his skills and his tools to attempt to achieve his final work. I’m sure all of us have seen the finished work of a great stone-cutter. What we haven’t seen are the ones that failed – the ones where the rock had a hidden flaw so when the skilled stone-cutter hit it as intended – it fell apart.
You and I aren’t literal stone-cutters, but in reality we apply our God-given skills every day. We attempt to do the right things as a leader, whether in the work world or at home. All of us have days when we continued to do the right thing and we never seem to make any progress. And like the stone-cutter that has hammered 100 times and doesn’t even see a crack – is it worth going on? And then we have the hundred and first blow and we see the results of the hard work that has gone before.
Stewardship is foundation type work. It seems like building the foundation is sometimes useless work – when in reality it is what allows the structure to stand the test of time. Jesus taught us not to become weary in doing what is right. Hitting a rock 100 times is hard work – just like doing the right things. How long do you continue to do it without seeing any results? We need to learn from the stone-cutter – keep at it until results happen – don’t get weary.
Quitters Never Win & Winners Never Quit
However, we also need to learn from the stone-cutter; even the best skills used in the right way don’t guarantee perfection. When you work with people, they may be like a rock and have an unseen flaw that your hard work exposes and they fail and you want to quit. Does the stone-cutter quit? No, he picks up the next rock and goes right back to work. Don’t quit and give up because of a failure – remember a masterpiece awaits you.
Where are you today? Have you been hitting the same rock over and over – maybe 100 times and haven’t seen any results? If so, don’t get weary; do the right things and don’t stop doing it. Your finished work will be like the stone-cutter’s masterpiece. No one will know the hard work you did to achieve the results and that really doesn’t matter.
You will know and that is what counts. GO HIT A ROCK TODAY!