William Carey was a missionary who worked tirelessly as a linguist and established a strong foundation for many Bible translations and educational facilities in India. He is the one who had the motto, “Expect great things from God, attempt great things for God.” But my favorite quote from William Carey is simply this–“I can plod.” My wife, Susan, wants to commission a stain glass window that memorializes those three words. To plod, to work steadily, to trudge, to walk laboriously. More like an ox than a gazelle.
Sometimes I talk to myself using that quote–“I may not be the brightest crayon in the box, I may not be the wittiest, I may not be the most insightful, I may not be the best speaker, etc., but I can plod.” Plodding may not be the most compelling personality trait when you meet somebody, but it makes a lot happen in the long run. The author of Hebrews understood this when he encouraged the others that they “may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises” (6:12). My translation is, “Don’t be a slug, but combine your plodding with faith.” We can plod.