“I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.”1 These words are attributed to Edward Everett Hale (1822-1909), grand-nephew of Nathan Hale (1755-1776), the American Revolutionary War hero executed by the British for espionage. In 1903 he became Chaplain of the United States Senate.
Too often we fret and express regret over all the things we were unable to do, or that should have been done by somebody. Especially when things go wrong or goals are not met by our church, community, city, or country. But God did not design this world so that every problem would be left up to one individual solve or all needs be provided for by one source. Just like the workings of a fine clock, each part, no matter how big or small, is only required to do its job so that it can keep the correct time.
So don’t get caught up in the distress of what should have or could have been done, just ask yourself, “Did I do what I was able to do?” That’s all that matters to God, family, and neighbors. Because when we stand before Him on judgment day, He will not ask us about what we couldn’t have done, but about what we could have done. – Dr. Robert R Seyda
1Statement published in “A Year of Beautiful Thoughts,” Complied by Jeanie Ashley Bates Greenough, Thomas Y. Crowell & Co. Publishers, New York, 1902, p. 172