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Just A Turtle On A Fence Post

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We have probably all heard the expression of a “Self-made man.” But the truth is: there is no such person. Pride might blind someone from this truth, but a dose of humility might be an eye-opener- - as the following illustrates.


I once read an interesting little story told by a former CEO of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company. He said that he and his wife were driving down the highway on one occasion when he noticed they were getting low on gas. They stopped at the next service station they could find which was a rundown looking place with only one gas pump.


The attendant was instructed to fill the tank and check the oil. While that was being done he walked around a bit to stretch his legs. As he walked back toward the car he noticed that the attendant and his wife were engaged in a rather animated conversation. He reached the car just as the pump shut off, so he paid and left. As they drove away the attendant said to his wife, “It was great seeing you again!”


The husband asked his wife, “So you knew him?” She admitted that they had gone to the same high school and dated for about a year.
After a short pause in the conversation, he continued, “Boy, you were lucky I came along,” he bragged. “If you had married him, you would be the wife of a gas station attendant instead of the wife of a chief executive officer!” His wife turned to him and replied, “My dear, if I had married him, he would be the CEO and you would be the gas station attendant.”


This little chronicle should remind us if we ever make it anywhere in life, we will do so by receiving a lot of help along the way. Much like the adage, if you see a turtle on top of a fence post, rest assured he did not get there by himself.


The same principle is also true in our spiritual walk. Paul, the apostle, was well-educated, multi-talented, and an extremely disciplined man. Yet, when speaking of his spiritual life he stated: “I am what I am by the grace of God…” (1 Corinthians 15:10). Further, when you look at his life you also see how important fellow-Christians were to his spiritual well-being (Acts 9:26f; 1 Corinthians 16:17, 18). The same is true for you and me.


May we humble ourselves and be ever thankful to God for all He has done for us through Jesus (Ephesians 2:1f). Also, may we be like Paul and appreciate others who help us along our way (cf. Philippians 1:3).