Caesar and the events and literature surrounding his life have also given us a great many memorable quotes. Thanks to Shakespeare and his eponymous play about Caesar, we all know that we should “Beware the ides of March!” And sooner or later, we all have to “Cross the Rubicon.”
Among the more notable quotes actually attributable to the real Julius Caesar are:
“Cowards die many times before their actual deaths.”
“The die is cast.”
“Et tu, Brute?”
And perhaps the most famous of all: “Veni, Vidi, Vici.”
According to the Roman historian Appian, Julius Caesar used this phrase in a letter delivered to the Roman Senate around 47 BC, reporting on a quick victory he had achieved against the Kingdom of Pontus at the Battle of Zela. The phrase, referring to a swift, conclusive victory, translates as “I came, I saw, I conquered.”
I share this today because of something I once read by Dr. Brian Harbour. When he retired after seventeen years as Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Richardson, Texas (and forty-one total years in the ministry), Dr. Harbour referenced the above quote by Caesar as he summed up his ministry there in this phrase: “Veni, Vidi, Velcro!” That is to say, “I came, I saw, I stuck!”
For my part, I was honored to celebrate my fifteenth anniversary as Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Lenoir City this past Sunday. Fifteen years ago, I came to this community, I looked around (and, I might add, I liked what I saw), and, praise God, I stuck!
Seriously, I am grateful to God for the opportunity to have served this wonderful church family all these years. In my heart, I know that I am completely undeserving of this position. If not for the grace of God, I would not have been able to have experienced this great blessing to begin with.
I liken my position to that of riding on the handlebars. Most of us can remember when we were children and there were five individuals and only four bikes. I like to tell folks that I am like that kid without his own bike who got to ride along on someone else's handlebars.
You see, God could have chosen anyone other than me to serve as Pastor of such a great church. But in His providence, He chose me. And hey, I’m just thankful to be along for the ride! Otherwise, I’ll be the first to admit that I'd be left behind and still walking!
I close with a picture of a wonderful gift that a very special lady in our church recently gave me. I shared the “Velcro” quote above; and she showed up the following week with this delightful gift. I will always cherish it.
Julius Caesar quotes can be found at many sites online. Among them:
Dr. Harbour’s website is here: http://www.seminaryplus.org.