David McCullough was a wonderful writer and historian. He passed away last year at the age of 89.
In his book, “Brave Companions - Portraits in History,” he wrote about a famous painting of President Theodore Roosevelt by John Singer Sargent that hangs in the White House.
According to the story, the artist had been waiting in the White House for several days for a chance to see President Roosevelt and talk with him about arranging a time for doing his portrait.
One morning, the two men met accidentally as Roosevelt was coming down the stairway. John Singer Sargent asked the president when there might be a convenient time for him to pose for the painting. The president answered, “Now!”
McCullough observed, “So there he is in the painting, standing at the foot of the stairs, his hand on the newel post. It is a great portrait, capturing more of the subtleties of the Roosevelt personality than any ever done of him.”
This story really appeals to me. I draw the same conclusion as David McCullough: “Moments come and go, the president was telling the painter. Here is the time, seize it, do your best.”
Proverbs chapter 6, verse 4 declares: “Don’t put it off; do it now! Don’t rest until you do.” (NLV)
It is certainly true. Moments come and go. Here is the time. Seize it. Do your best.