Theodore Roosevelt Speaks to Homeschoolers

On October 14, 1912, John Flammang Schrank shot President Theodore Roosevelt outside the Hotel Gilpatrick in Milwaukee Wisconsin. The bullet lodged in Roosevelt’s chest after striking both Roosevelt’s eyeglasses, and a copy of his speech that was folded up in his jacket pocket. Since he didn’t cough up any blood, Roosevelt decided there was no need to go to the hospital and went directly from the hotel to the Milwaukee auditorium where he proceeded to deliver a 90 minute speech as planned. The bullet never was removed and Roosevelt carried it with him for the rest of his life.

We could all take a lesson from Roosevelt, couldn’t we? It was the apostle Paul who said, “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Cor. 4:16-18) In other words- even when we’re wounded, we keep on going. We don’t let those things bother us.

Even more explicitly, Paul says earlier in 2 Cor. 4 (verses 8 & 9) “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.”

That sounds a little like being shot in an assassination attempt but going on with the speech you had planned, doesn’t it?

We are living on a battlefield and the warfare is fierce. None of us have lived long enough to become parents without being wounded more than once. For some it was their father or mother who dealt the wound. For others it was a friend, an employer or a spouse. But whatever the source of our wounds, we’re called to “keep on keeping on.”

I want to encourage you to ask the Lord for strength and encouragement today to go on about your business- even though you bear the wounds of life. Like Teddy Roosevelt and the Apostle Paul- we cannot give up because we’ve been wounded. There is too much at stake.

Do some research with your children today on President Teddy Roosevelt and tell them the remarkable story of a man who refused to allow a bullet in the chest to slow him down.


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