by George H. Morrison

The Race Not to the Swift
George Morrison
Ecclesiastes 9:11

I ask you to note the first words of our text. The writer begins by saying "I returned." Now what does he mean by that, and where had he been, and why does he tell us he came back again? He means that there had been a time when he sat in his house with a hot and angry heart. He had thought it a shame that some should be so swift and that others should be so beautiful or strong. What was the use of striving for the prize when some of the athletes were so unfairly handicapped? It was a cruel world, unbalanced and unjust, and his heart was in revolt against its ordering. Then he went out into the world's highways. He moved up and down among the haunts of men. He ceased to theorize and set himself to watch what was actually happening upon the stage of action; and then, with a mind furnished with large experience, he came home to meditate upon it all. "And I returned, and saw under the sun"-things wore a different complexion now. Men might be swift, but they did not always win. Armies might be strong, but they did not always triumph. There were incalculable powers abroad-balancing, adjusting, compensating-so that turn where one would in human affairs, there were unexpected and dramatic issues. Now if you like, says the writer, you may call that chance; or you may take it from the other side and call it God. But whatever you call it, the certain fact remains that the rearranging and revising power is there. And so, says the preacher, I came home again, a wiser, a humbler, and a happier man, for I had seen that the race is not to the swift nor is the battle to the strong.

Tonight, then, I shall try to illustrate that truth and then to show the moral values of it. And in the first place do as this writer did, and look with your own eyes upon your own environment. One of the favorite words of Dr. John Brown1-the gentle author of Rab and His Friends-one of the words that was often on his lips was the word un ...

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