Tag Archives: Edward Rowland Sill

We Must Do The Best We Can With What We Have

The above title was the philosophy lived by Mr. Edward Rowland Sill. Both his parents died when he was young and had poor health that he was prevented from doing many of the things he would have liked. For a long time, he had difficulty finding his proper niche in his life. He did ministry but gave it up when he couldn’t accept narrow dogma. He did newspaper work but found that he was physically and temperamentally unsuited for the job. He finally made teaching his career and he was successful and content…until his poor health forced him to give up.

He believed in doing the best he could with what he had, in whatever condition he found himself. He believed and lived making good, not in making excuses. And in his poem, “Opportunity,” he knew his limitations and accepted them. Here are the words in his poem, let’s learn from him and his belief:

 This I beheld, or dreamed it in a dream:

There spread a cloud of dust along a plain;

And underneath the cloud, or in it, raged

A furious battle, and men yelled, and swords

Shocked upon swords and shields. A prince’s banner

Wavered, then staggered backward, hemmed by foes.

A cavern hung along the battle’s edge,

And thought, “Had I a sword of keener steel—

That blue blade that the king’s son bears, — but this

Blunt thing—!” he snapped and flung it from his hand,

And lowering crept away and left the field.

Then came the king’s son, wounded, sore bestead,

And weaponless, and saw the broken sword,

Hilt-buried in the dry and trodden sand,

And ran and snatched it, and with battle shout

Lifted afresh he hewed his enemy down,

And saved a great cause that heroic day.

 Written more than 120 years ago, its message is as timely as ever: Forget your limitations. Make the most of the opportunities and abilities you have and fulfill the promise within you.

 More than 2000 years ago, being the Son of Man, Jesus did a lot of miracles and wonders through the aid of His Father in Heaven, Creator of the heavens and the earth. There was nothing He couldn’t do but was only limited by unbelief of the people He was serving. The Scripture says, “The righteous shall live by faith.” We can become righteous in God’s sight by believing what Jesus had done on the cross for us. Then we can declare like the apostle Paul, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”