Summary: Like the potential in a seed so is the undeveloped greatness in you, Rev. Fair’s sermon speaks of the possibility that each of us have with God’s love and guidance.
THE GREATEST THAT IS IN YOU
I hold in my hand one of the most marvelous things in the whole world. It is brown in color, stream lined in shape, and so small that if I dropped it, I would have difficulty finding it again. Science can duplicate it’s content but not it’s ability. This marvelous something is an apple seed.
In this seed there is a complete apple tree. There is trunk with branches and twigs growing out in all directions. There are thousands of blossoms and green leaves and honey for the bees to gather and later there are branches bending with ripe apples. Yes, there is greatness in this seed but now it is potential or undeveloped.
II. There is undeveloped greatness in young people.
Sometimes we are tempted to call you empty headed. You are so skillful in resisting the entrance of knowledge. Some of you wish to learn, and some do not, and there are others who do not want any-one else to learn. At exam time your theme song must be “must I go empty headed, must I greet my teachers so not one thought with which to greet her. Must I empty headed go?”. But if we could not see what God has placed in every head. Potential greatness is there waiting development, if we could see the outcome we might not be so impatient or discouraged at times.
There was a boy who took care of his father’s sheep on one of the hills near Bethelem. He was too young to join Saul’s army but he could be entrusted to care for the flock. He grew up to become a King. There was a little girl who was stolen from her parents and carried to a strange land. She grew up to be the Queen of that country, 2000 years ago.
A little boy played in his fathers carpenter shop. His name was Jesus. The hometown people though that he was just another boy. They could not see his potential. But he grew up to be the Saviour.
When little Mary Reed played in her home New Caldwell, Ohio, no one dreamed that she would end up in China as a missionary to the lepers, but she did.
You are like this seed. God has put something into your life which when developed will make you great in his sight. Perhaps with-in you there is the greatest to become a doctor, a missionary, a teacher, an evangelist, a pastor, or something else, or God may call you to be just a helper.
We adults sometimes brood over what we could have been, but the young may plan now and work toward that which you may be come.
II. Developing the traits that lead to greatness
A. First of all one must develop termination, must have a goal purpose, a calling to fulfill. You develop determination one needs more back bone than wish bone. If you would capitalize on your potential you must keep at it, no matter what.
A young man played college football for four years, but never made the first team nor played in an important game. When World War II came along he enlisted and later gave his life to save his buddy. His college set up a bronze plaque in his memory. On it
were these words “He played four years on the scrubs. He never quit”.
B. Along with determination we must develop self control. Christy Mathewson is one of the greatest names in baseball. He was great because he had control of the ball. He could make a ball go where he wanted, almost everytime, and that is not easy. Some of us have difficulty in hitting the broad side of the barn but Mattie as he was called could put the ball over a pinhead.
It didn’t matter how much the crowd was trying to rattle him, nor how much depended on winning the game, he kept control of the ball. He controlling himself. He found it hard to take orders. At the end of each each practice session, McGraw required the team to run bases twice before boarding the buses. On this particular day the team began to run the bases but Mattie did not get off the bench. McGraw said, “Mattie run the bases and we’ll go home”. Mattie growled back, “I worked hard enough today without running bases” McGraw said, “Just the same you have to run the bases”, Mattie continued to sit on the bench. His teammates clustered around him and urged him to run. McGraw said, “Not a bus leaves until Mattie runs. Mattie sat still for a half hour longer, then got up and walked to first base. He stood there for a awhile as if struggling with himself. Then he ran the bases twice and jumped into the bus. He said afterwards, “That was the most important lesson I have ever had. I had to win the fight over myself and I did it”.