Okay, here is an oldie but goody from Charles Swindoll,1984
Progress seems like a two-headed giant, doesn’t it? Looking back on it, it is admirable, almost heroic. We salute the visionaries of yesteryear. They emerge from the pages of history books as men and women of gallant faith. We shake our heads in amazement as we imagine the herculean courage it took to stand so confidently when the majority frowned so sternly.
Yesterday’s progress earns for itself today’s monuments of stone. Looking back, we laud those who refused to take no for an answer. We quote them with gusto. We even name our children after them. But today…what do we do with such creatures today? We brand them as irritating malcontents, reckless idealists who simply won’t sit down and be quiet.
Today’s progressive dreamers are seen as permissive, wild-eyed extremists. Not showing much corporate promise (since they hate the status quo mold), most of them have a tough time going along with the system. They, in fact, loathe the system. But what they lack in diplomacy, they make up for in persistence. Cooperative they’re not. Resilient they are.
Give most of them a couple of hundred years and they’ll be virtually knighted. But at the present moment, they seem nuts. I can scarcely think of a half-dozen churches today, for example, that would so much as consider having Martin Luther candidate for the pulpit.
It’s doubtful that very many of you in business would hire Thomas Edison or Leonardo da Vinci into your company. And which evangelical seminary would chance turning over its students majoring in systematic theology to a firebrand like John Knox?
Or, tell me, how would an emotionally charged free spirit like Ludwig Van Beethoven fit the stuffy chair of any university’s department of music? And who, today, would choose to go into battle with a “blood and guts,” straight shooting commanding officer like George Patten or “howling Mad” Smith?
For that matter, how many votes would a crusty, outspoken, overweight visionary like Winston Churchill, or the rugged Andrew Jackson get in our day of slick government and touch-me-not bureaucrats and politicians? You think we’d respect their progressiveness and value their vision?
Don’t bet on it. People didn’t in their day. Are you an eagle-type, soaring to heights beyond your peers? Do you find yourself bored with the maintenance of the machinery…yawning through the review of the rules…restless to cut a new swath…excited rather than intimidated by the risks? Don’t expect pats on the back or great waves of applause.
Not today. Chances are good you’ll loose a few jobs, fail a few courses, ruffle tons of feathers, and be the subject of the town gossip. Mavericks who don’t color within the lines are also notorious for not staying within the fences.
And that makes folks terribly uncomfortable. But take heart! Many an alleged heretic today will be a hero tomorrow.
“Progressiveness” by Charles Swindoll.
Published by Insight for Living, 1984