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A young American engineer was sent to Ireland by his company to work in a new electronics plant. It was a two-year assignment that he had accepted because it would enable him to earn enough to marry his long-time girlfriend. She had a job near her home in Tennessee, and their plan was to pool their resources and put a down payment on a house when he returned. They corresponded often, but as the lonely weeks went by, she began expressing doubts that he was being true to her, exposed as he was to comely Irish lasses. The young engineer wrote back, declaring with some passion that he was paying absolutely no attention to the local girls. "I admit," he wrote, "that sometimes Iím tempted. But I fight it. Iím keeping myself for you." In the next mail, the engineer received a package. It contained a note from his girl and a harmonica. "Iím sending this to you," she wrote, "so you can learn to play it and have something to take your mind off those girls." The engineer replied, "Thanks for the harmonica. Iím practicing on it every night and thinking of you." At the end of his two-year stint, the engineer was transferred back to company headquarters. He took the first plane to Tennessee to be reunited with his girl. Her whole family was with her, but as he rushed forward to embrace her, she held up a restraining hand and said sternly, "Just hold on there a minute, Billy Bob. Before any serious kissiní and hugginí gets started here, let me hear you play that harmonica" ē This young lady had faith in her boyfriend but wanted the evidence of his faith, in other words she wanted to see the results of her faith
16,743 YARDS OF PERSISTENCE
God has always honored persistence. I have always appreciated Emmitt Smith. I was glad to see him set the NFL rushing record last Sunday. He isnít as flashy as Walter Payton or Barry Sanders, and he never possessed true break-away speed. But his strength lies in his ability to persistĖhe just kept on running.
He has run for 16,743 yards. Thatís 9.5 miles! It has taken him 13 years to run only 9.5 miles. Whatís the big deal about that? I ran more miles than that on the Rose Rudman trail this past week! The big difference is, I didnít have 11 huge defensive players trying to take my head off when I ran! Emmittís average run over those 9.5 miles was 4.3 yards at a time. That means he has been tackled and knocked down 3,983 times. And do you know what he did after every tackle? He got back up and ran the ball again. Sure, he was injured a few times, but he always returned. Iím impressed that someone would be knocked down almost 4,000 times and still they get up and run again.
Even the best of people get knocked down in life, but what sets them apart from the quitters is that they get right back up. Life is full of adv...