Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Climbing Out Onto A Limb by Ace Collins

Branch Rickey was a man who, in the face of failure, continued to take chances time and time again. He was in his eighties still looking toward the future, when he took the stage in Columbia, Missouri and gave his final speech. That night he told the audience that the only people who impacted the world were those who constantly climbed out onto limbs.

Rickey felt his calling was the game of baseball; yet he failed miserably as a player and manager. For three decades he hung on by sheer will, guts and faith. In the 1930s, he finally found success as a general manager with the St. Louis Cardinals, but it did not satisfy him. His driving motivation was to open major league baseball’s door to African-Americans. He waited impatiently to make that move and, when he did, he was not viewed as a hero, but became one of the most reviled men in the country. So why, as a senior citizen, did he do what others would not? It all goes back to climbing out on that limb.

As a kid I loved to climb trees. Maybe you did too. But most adults not only quit climbing trees; they quit venturing out onto limbs. Many, if not most, see taking any kind of chance as being just a continuation of the immature nature of youth. I wonder if this kind of thinking also causes them to quit dreaming. Because making dreams into a reality involves more than just planning and hard work, it also takes climbing out onto a limb that might just break and toss you out onto the hard ground.

I will likely never impact the world like Branch Rickey did. But much like the man who shattered baseball’s color line, I believe the best is yet to come and I have a part in somehow making it happen. I don’t see age, past failures, an evolving world or a file drawer filled with rejections as a reason not to keep climbing out onto limbs. Even as I hit my sixtieth birthday, I am excited about all that life has to offer to me if I am willing to keep climbing my life’s trees and falling out of a few too.

Branch Rickey fully understood that failure is a momentary thing, but giving up dreaming is like giving up on life. So today might just be the day you need to quit settling and start dreaming again. Embrace once more the need to make something happen, to find a calling and to maybe even suffer a failure or two. It will all be worth it if this move allows you to once more discover a child’s curiosity and optimism, two things Branch Rickey held onto until the day he died.

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The only people who impacted the world were those who constantly climbed out onto limbs. Click to Tweet
Making dreams into a reality involves climbing out onto a limb that might just break. Click to Tweet
Failure is a momentary thing, but giving up dreaming is like giving up on life. Click to Tweet


Citing his Arkansas heritage, Ace Collins defines himself as a storyteller. In that capacity, Ace Collins has authored more than sixty books for 25 different publishers that have sold more than 2.5 million copies. His catalog includes novels, biographies, as well as books on history, culture and faith. His first devotional book, Music For Your Heart,was just released and has earned numerous five star reviews and his new novel, The Cutting Edge, blends suspense, romance and intrigue in a tale of survival and victory. This summer Ace’s novel from Abingdon, Darkness Before Dawn, made the most inspiring book list on iTunes in July and Hope For Women’s “Top Five Summer Reads.”
The Cutting Edge
A value oriented novel of survival, discovery and romance with a large dose Hitchcock style suspense tossed in.

Leslie Rhoads may have grown up in a small town, but is on the verge of becoming a supermodel in the Big Apple, when the 24-year-old is chosen to grace the cover of Style magazine and star in the controversial Passion Nights’ perfume ads. But before she can step into the spotlight, Leslie is assaulted by a drug gang and disfigured with a broken scotch bottle. Without her perfect face, she is lost and no amount of surgery can ever make her what she once was. Now trying to hide her face from the world, Leslie encounters more trouble as she seeks to rebuild her life: unrequited love, thoughts of suicide, and her assailant out to finish the job. Little does she know that a young girl named Angel will turn it all around, showing Leslie the joy and potential in life and the fact that love truly is blind.

Music For Your Heart
Have you ever had a song stuck in your head for days? Something about its tune or lyrics impacts us and holds our attention. Why? How did the song come to be? Why was it written? And what does the song really mean? In Music for Your Heart, best-selling and award-winning author Ace Collins takes you behind the scenes of your favorite songs to show how the lyrics and music began. Through insider stories, artist bios, and inspiration from Scripture, Collins weaves stirring reflections on our adored and popular classics. Whether the featured song is a holiday carol, children’s worship tune, or love song, each short chapter will inspire curious music enthusiasts as well as those seeking a book for a devotional meditation. Digging deep into the words and history of the music, these uplifting and informative reflections will warm the heart—like the songs themselves.

7 comments:

  1. I like the analogy between climbing out on a tree limb to follow our dreams, Ace.

    Adults have lived long enough to see the dangers in life, so we're more cautious. I think anyone who wants to be a professional writer climbs out on that limb daily and hopes critics don't saw it off behind them. :)

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  2. Wow ... I needed this today. Thanks for your inspiring words, Ace.

    My husband and I saw the movie "42," and we were both impacted by the story and Branch Rickey's willingness to step out on that limb.

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  3. Thanks for you kind words. Branch was an amazing man who did so much more than could be presented in the book. I have long climbed out on the limbs, even did it when I proposed to my wife figuring she'd turn me down. I was shocked when she accepted. I married way above myself thanks to taking that chance.

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  4. Tree climbing, eh? I'm the type that wraps my legs tightly around the branch and shimmies out, inch by inch, testing the strength of the limb and trying hard not to look at the ground. lol,
    Sandy still laughing at your comment. Thanks for the encouraging post, Ace! I really need to practice this more. :)

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  5. How cool that you used Branch Rickey and the analogy of climbing out on a limb. (I'm pretty slow, I just "got" that!)

    This was a very encouraging post and I'm so glad that his words helped you step out and do things. That must be why you've had such a successful marriage and writing career. Thanks for sharing his, and your, stories.

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    Replies
    1. Ha! I didn't "get" it until I read your comment, Angie. :)

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    2. The word use was anything but subtle, but most never see it. Thanks for your kind words.

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