July 31, 2019
I was encouraged a few days ago by an article in Our Daily Bread called “Plodding for God.” It referenced William Carey, who is known today as the father of modern missions. I doubt that people saw him as a visionary leader in his early years, but his accomplishments included learning Greek, Hebrew and Latin.
The story says that Carey translated the entire Bible into six languages and parts of it into 29 others. His child died and his wife had mental health problems. Perhaps the most difficult part of his life was the lack of response from the people he served. By every measure, he was a “plodder.”
Webster’s definition of a “plodder” sounds negative: “To walk or move heavily and laboriously; trudge; to work steadily and monotonously; drudge.” I suppose William Carey had days when his steps were heavy, but I doubt he spent a lot of time bemoaning his circumstances. He did not have time to do that and accomplish what he did.
I appreciate the word “steady” in the definition. It carries the idea of planned consistency and commitment over time. Every human needs someone or several people in our life who are an example of “steadiness.” Certain occupations demand this approach to life. Farmers cannot rush or delay the journey from planting to harvest. Parents get in trouble when they insist that children mature more quickly than is natural for them – or try to hold them back.
Plodding and maturity walk together. A steady journey facilitates maturity. Our fast-paced culture tends to promote a visionary focus over plodding that might take a long time to produce results.
William Carey was like the Apostle Paul, who never seemed to hurry or to lag behind as God directed him day by day. I appreciate the example of those men.
Pastor Bill Ehmann