You heard about the sign posted on a rancher's fence? On the other side of the fence resides the biggest, meanest looking bull you can imagine. The sign is intended to strike fear into the hearts of would-be trespassers. It reads: "Don't attempt to cross this field unless you can do it in 9.9 seconds. The bull can do it in 10 flat!"
Don't try to cross that field unless you are prepared! And isn't that the way it is in life? We have to be ready when the opportunity arises or else we will have little chance of success.
Sixth-grade schoolteacher Ms. Shelton believed in readiness. Students remember how she walked in on the first day of class and began writing words of an eighth-grade caliber on the chalkboard. They quickly protested that the words were not on their level and they couldn't learn them.
Their teacher insisted that the students could and would learn these words. She said that she would never teach down to them. Ms. Shelton ended by saying that one of the students in that classroom could go onto greatness, maybe even be president some day, and she wanted to prepare them for that day.
Ms. Shelton spoke those words many years ago. Little did she know that someday one of her students - Jesse Jackson - would take them seriously (Leadership, Summer 1992). She believed that if they were well prepared, they could achieve high goals.
Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, "People only see what they are prepared to see." If that's true, then it is also true that they only become what they are prepared to become. And a lot of life is just about getting ready.
"I want to be doing something more significant with my life than what I am doing now," a young man once said to me. He felt like what he was doing was just not that important. Other people have said things to me such as, "I only wish I had a meaningful relationship." And, "I'd really like to get a better job, but I just don't see how."
You fill in the blanks. What is it you would like to happen that isn't happening? Perhaps the answer is that you are not yet ready. Maybe you need more time to prepare before you are truly ready for that which you desire.
Think of today as another chance to prepare yourself for that exciting future you are looking for. Today is not wasted. If you desire more from life, then you can use today as training. For you will experience only what you are prepared to experience. Something wonderful can happen. And you can use today to get ready for tomorrow.
-- Steve Goodier