The Drifting Logs

The Drifting Logs

The mountainous country of Canada is covered with a dense forest. Thousands and thousands of these trees are cut down every year. The logs are sent to mills where they are sawed into boards, planks and beams, and then shipped to many parts of the world.

Sometimes the logs are not sawed into lumber in Canada but are shipped out just as they are, big, round and heavy. The easiest way to send logs is to float them down a stream. But many of the rivers are not deep enough to float them.

Some years ago a certain man was the first to float logs in the ocean from Canada to New York. To use the ocean for floating logs had not been tried before. So this man rolled many logs side by side in the ocean and around them all he strung a strong cable to hold them together. All these logs formed a huge raft tossing upon the waves. When the logs neared New York a storm whipped the ocean into giant rolling waves. The strain was too much for the cable; it snapped and the logs were scattered far and wide. The man lost all his logs; he had failed.

But something very good came from this failure, from this disappointment which had come to this man. The ocean is full of currents, some running this way and others that way. It is important to know how and where these currents flow. In Washington there is a department where men study these ocean currents. When the Chief of this department heard that the logs had broken loose, he knew that the various currents would drift the logs to distant parts of the ocean far away and also far apart. If he were able to find out where these logs would drift, he would at the same time know how and in what direction the ocean currents run. So he sent a wireless message to hundreds of ships on the ocean, asking the captains to watch for the logs and to report where they were seen. When these captains brought in their reports, it was discovered that the ocean currents had sent the logs into far places of the world. With the help of these drifting logs new discoveries were made about the courses of ocean currents.

The man from Canada who wanted to deliver the logs safely in New York had failed. But let us see what happened to this failure. He lost the logs, but through these drifting logs much was learned about how to make the ocean safer for ships and saving people from shipwreck.

What was failure and loss for one man, turned out to be for the good of everyone else. If our failure turns out to be for the good of others, is it still failure?

Columbus did not start out to discover America. He did not even know that there was a new world to find. What he wanted to do was to find a new and shorter route to India. He did not find a new and shorter way to India; in fact, he never arrived in India at all, he had failed. But he did land on a strange shore, it was America. But Columbus did not know that he had discovered a new world. He went back to Spain a failure and there they put him into prison. The failure of Columbus to find a new way to India turned out to be for the good of others for it led to the discovery of America. If his failure was for the good of others is it still failure?

Some people fail because they do not try hard. That is always bad, and when such people fail their failure brings loss and regret to them. But when we try our best like the man who floated the logs, or like Columbus, and then fail, then our failure will always turn out for the best, either for ourselves or for others.

Did you ever try very hard to do something and you could not do it? You failed. But the fact that you tried so hard, even though you failed, will help you to be successful some other time.

Was there ever a person who tried harder and lived a better life than Jesus? Yet, he was killed and nailed to a cross when He was only thirty-three years of age. Some would say that He was a failure. But was He a failure? He failed to save His life but in doing so he helped us all and today we look upon Him as our Savior. What seemed to be a failure for Him, turned out to be for our good.

We do not have to be afraid of failure, if we have tried hard. Failure is dangerous when it comes as a result of carelessness and negligence.

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