Every corporal carries a marshal's baton in his knapsack.—Napoleon
On the western prairies in the old frontier days fleetness of foot was a highly prized skill among the native Indians. Young boys, eager to attain speed and endurance, asked the older men of the tribe how best to achieve their goal. The old Sioux told them to go out every summer and cover their hearts with the colorful dust of butterfly wings Each boy had to catch his own butterflies. Any man who ever spent part of his boyhood in the neighborhood where he, too, chased butterflies across the fields knows what that meant. Those who caught butterflies summer after summer became excellent runners.—Nuggets
The old inmate greeted his new cell partner with the question: "How long you in for?"
"Twenty-five years," the new prisoner replied.
"Then you take the bed nearest the door," said the old timer. "You will be getting out first.'—Arkansas Baptist
Once, when a conference of ministers was held in a certain town, a certain preacher had sat quietly through it for a number of days until, toward the end of the conference, he was suddenly and unexpectedly called upon to speak He arose thoughtfully and almost stumblingly fumbled for his words. Finally, his thoughts took form, his words fell in the rhythm of a marching column, and his impassioned oratory beat down upon the upturned faces of his audience until, as he arose to his peroration and reached his climax, the whole sedate conference broke into a spontaneous applause that shook the room, according to an item in Printer's Ink.
He had delivered the master oration of the conference. When finally the applause subsided, a cocky young doctor of divinity strolled up to him. "That was a masterly address you delivered extemporaneously. Yet you must have had some preparation to have done it so well. How long did it take you to prepare it?"
The older man looked gently for some time at the younger one before he answered. And then: "Sixty years, young man, sixty years!"—Sunshine Magazine
There is an old story of a king of bygone days and his 'clown' or 'jester', who sometimes said very foolish things and sometimes made very wise utterances. One day the jester had said something so foolish that the king, handing him a staff, said to him, 'Take this, and keep it till you find a bigger fool than yourself.'
Some years later, the king was very ill and lay on his deathbed. His courtiers were called; his family and his servants also stood round his bedside. The king, addressing them, said, 'I am about to leave you. I am going on a very long journey, and I shall not return again to this place: so I have called you all to say "Goodbye".' Then his jester stepped forward and, addressing the king, said, 'Your Majesty, may I ask a question? When you have journeyed abroad visiting your people, staying with your nobles, or paying diplomatic visits to other courts, your heralds and servants have always gone before you, making preparations for you. May I ask what preparations your Majesty has made for this long journey that he is about to take?'
'Alas!' replied the king, 'I have made no preparations.'
'Then,' said the jester, 'take this staff with you, for now I have found a bigger fool than myself.'
(Amos 4. 12; Matt. 24. 44; 25. 10)
In the days when Mr. Handley Bird was carrying on aggressive gospel work in Madras city, he asked a young missionary who had come to visit him from the mofussil to preach the Gospel in the Sunday evening service. After vainly searching for a message, the missionary came to Mr. Bird and said humbly, `I'm sorry I haven't been able to prepare an address.'
Mr. Bird's characteristic reply was, 'Brother, go and prepare yourself.'
(Eph. 6. 15)