Record Breakers...

Yesterday the 2012 edition of that perennial favourite the Guinness Book of Records was published, with a huge amount of coverage in the “and finally” section of many news reports… including the news of St. Annes Primary School, Dunmurry and their Bobble Hat record here on Good Morning Ulster. I heard and read about all sorts of strange achievements like Clare Pearce from Peterborough and her 47 inch long cucumber… Chanel Tapper, from California, with the world's longest tongue at 3.8 inches from tip to top lip… and Christine Walton, from Las Vegas, with her 19ft 9 inch fingernails.
Then there is Dr Who fan Rob Hull and his collection of 571 Daleks… I actually think my son Ciaran could give him a run for his money on that one… Or Wei Shengchu who set the record for the most needles on his face with a horrendous 2009. Given I feel weak at the threat of one injection I’m not going to go for that record any time soon. Nor will I challenge for the record of Reverend Darrell Best, who owns, drives and presides over the fastest wedding chapel in the world; a converted fire truck which allows couples to tie the knot whilst careering along the road at 62mph.
Shakespeare tells us that some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them… You could also substitute the word weird for great… But if truth be told the vast majority of people will never be record breakers… No matter how much "dedication" we put into our chosen endeavour, as Roy Castle used to encourage us, we may never make it into the hallowed pages of this book, or indeed "be the best", or "beat the rest" in anything… Most people will not get As, A stars and firsts in exams, nor will most people achieve that most treasured attribute of celebrity…
But such things are not the measure of a person… Even record breakers and celebrities are more than that for which they are famous. Indeed like icebergs, most of who we are is hidden from public view. God alone knows all there is to know about us… He’s counted each hair on our heads… So he’s the only one who knows who is a record breaker on that front. And only he knows all that we are capable of.
Perhaps that is one reason why the preacher Robert Murray McCheyne once said "A man is what he is on his knees before God, and nothing more."

My "Thought for the Day" for Radio Ulster this Morning.

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