I've never followed boxing closely, but I chuckle at the attitude
of a high school boxing coach. Some of the new athletes were,
let's say, better suited for other activities. One of his boys
worked furiously for a couple of rounds, but never connected with
anything that might be construed as a punch. Nevertheless, he
asked, "What do you think, Coach? Have I done him any damage?"
"No," said a bewildered coach. "But keep on swinging. The draft
might give him a cold."
Slim as it is, that might be his only chance to win! And we've
all been there, haven't we? Slim to none are sometimes the best
odds we can hold out for. And actually, sometimes it is better to
keep on swinging -- failure comes only after we have given
For instance, it took 32 years of failures for dedicated climbers
to reach the top of Mt. Everest, a peak scaled so often now it
hardly makes the newspaper! At over 29,000 feet of altitude, snow
never melts atop Mt. Everest. Sometimes winds at the summit reach
200 miles per hour.
George Leigh-Mallory is first recorded as attempting the climb in
1921. On his third try, in 1924, he disappeared into the mist,
never to be seen again. The mountain had won. But friends of
Mallory one day gazed upon a large picture of Mt. Everest and
declared, "Mt. Everest, you defeated us once. You defeated us
twice. You defeated us three times. But, Mt. Everest, we shall
some day defeat you because you can't get any bigger -- and we
Eight more attempts were made on the mountain resulting in eight
more failures. But finally, along came Edmund Hillary in 1953,
who, along with his guide, conquered the peak for the first time!
Failure comes only after one has given up. If slim to none are
the odds of winning, they might be worth taking. For we can
always get bigger -- bigger in ability; bigger in experience;
bigger in wisdom; bigger in faith.
I like the observation of Josh Billings, who says, "Consider the
postage stamp: its usefulness consists in the ability to stick to
one thing 'til it gets there!"