The University of Chicago did a five-year study of leading artists, athletes, and scholars.  The research was conducted by Dr. Benjamin Bloom, and was based upon anonymous interviews with the top twenty performers in various fields.  These people included concert pianists, Olympic athletes, tennis players, sculptors, mathematicians, physicians, and a number of other achievers.  Bloom and his team of researchers from the University of Chicago probed for clues as to how these people developed their skills.  For a more complete picture, they even interviewed their families and teachers.  

   The report stated conclusively that it was not great talent, but drive and determination that led to the extraordinary success of these individuals.  Bloom noted, "We expected to find tales of great natural gifts.  We didn't find that at all.  Their mothers often said it was another sibling who had the great talent".  

   The report, I believe, underscores that for us to live a successful Christian life in our world today, we must do so through drive and determination.  The apostle Paul was able to say, after shipwrecks, beatings, political ostracizing, and disappointment, "Now the time has come for me to die.  My life is like a drink offering being poured out on the altar.  I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have been faithful." (2 Timothy 4:6-7)  He had lived a successful life.  Why?  Because he was determined to be faithful, despite his setbacks, disappointments, and trials.  Are you determined to live the faith?


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