Friday, June 12, 2009

Experience - Chasing Dreams

You've heard it said that experience is something you don't get until just after you need it. But what about experiencing failure? No one is really looking for someone who knows how to fail, right?

In a previous post I talked about how Abraham Lincoln experienced failure numerous times in business and several unsuccessful political campaigns. Yet he would not give up. He ultimately became the president of the United States of America. That shows great tenacity and determination. That would make a good business anecdote if it ended there. But it doesn't. He went on to lead then nation during the deadliest war in American history. A war between brothers. A war of historic consequences.

Imagine where we would be today if slavery were not abolished in the 1860s.

America has been a deciding factor in several wars with a global impact. It has been the greatest humanitarian contributor to third world nations. It has been the leader in technology and innovation for the industrialized world for over a century.

Imagine what would have happened if we had had a president during the Civil War who did not have the strength of character and determination to fight the necessary battles to keep the country together. Imagine the global impact if the United States had split into two independent and antagonistic countries.

I suspect that his earlier experiences of failure were instrumental in preparing him to take on arguably the most difficult presidency in US history.

Isn't it interesting that King David, the greatest King in the Bible, faced more adversity before becoming king than any other king in the Bible. He was God's anointed man. God could have protected him from all of this, but He didn't. God's greatest act of kindness was to prepare him not protect him.

In the Army we used to say that more sweat in training meant less blood in battle.

If you are facing tremendous adversity and even failure, take heart. Maybe God is preparing you for a greater calling than than you realize. Difficult experiences are the training ground for good decisions when the consequence of failure are the greatest.

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