Don’t Miss Your Opportunity

“Never give in! Never, never, never!”
Winston Churchill
October 29, 1941
Harrow School

This quote came from a speech that Winston Churchill had given to the at Harrow School at the height of World War 2.  During this time, Churchill recounted the war’s history and the struggles that they had gone through in order to persevere. He instructed these very students to remain strong and faithful during the dark times with the encouragement that they could, indeed, overcome. In the dark days that we go through, we need the Winston Churchills to encourage us to overcome.

Imagine, though, we had just given up on everything that we dreamed of all because we were worn out from all of the trials.  What would become of all of the Albert Einsteins, Thomas Edisons, Henry Fords, and other famous men and women if they had given up before accomplishing their goal?  Thomas Edison was famous for saying after the lightbulb’s creation; “I did not fail 10,000 times. I found 10,000 ways that it didn’t work.”  We’d probably be living in the dark and not enjoying the lives that we had if Edison had simply given up after so often failing.

In Chip Gaines in his book Captial Gaines: Smart things I Learned Doing Stupid Stuff, Gaines writes;

“Don’t let the fear of failure keep you from that pursuit. I know I wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t taken a few chances—sometimes they panned out, but even when they didn’t, I never let failure break my focus. If you believe in something, you gotta go after it.”

When we take the fear out of failure, it is just another adventure.  Because Chip and Joanna Gaines decided to head feet first into their ventures, they did not allow fear to overtake them. Let’s look at someone who allowed fear to keep them from amazing things.

        Recently, I read this story of a man who gave up before something great would have happened.  Bjarni Herjólfsson was a Norse-Icelandic explorer who traveled between Norway and Iceland on a normal basis as a merchant.  At one point, he had decided to visit his parents only to find out that his father had gone to Greenland.

        Setting his sails towards Greenland, a storm erupted causing his boat to veer off course. After some time, he finally came to land. However, he did not get off the boat and explore thinking about being home. He turned the boat around and headed back to his homeland. Little did he know, Herjólfsson saw America. But because he refused to get out of the boat and went back to something familiar, he missed out on becoming the first European to find America. Rumors swirled for many hundred years about lands to the West, but no one had successfully sailed to them until Christopher Columbus in 1492.

       How many times have we been like Bjarni Herjólfsson?  We hit storm after storm while finding ourselves completely defeated. We let defeat seep into our hearts and we give up on the things that we believe that God is calling us to do.  Today, I want to encourage you to set your sails, prepare for what lies ahead, and go!

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