Sunday, February 11, 2007

Forty Days of Fear and Failure

Forty Days of Fear and Failure by Rob Marshall

Copyright 2006 Rob Marshall

In his book, Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill says, "One of the most common causes of failure is the habit of quitting when one is overtaken by temporary defeat." He goes on to tell the story of R. U. Darby who stopped three feet short of finding gold.

Darby, like many others, was caught up in "gold fever." He went out west in search of gold and after digging in a mine with a pick and shovel, he found it. He quietly covered up the mine and went back east to raise money to buy the equipment he needed to bring the ore to the surface.

His hopes were high as he began dreaming of paying off his debts and making a killing selling gold. But then something happened, the vein of gold disappeared. He continued drilling, but the gold was gone. He finally quit and sold the equipment to a junk dealer for a few hundred dollars and went back home.

The junk dealer decided to hire a mining engineer to take a look at the mine. After doing some calculations the engineer told him that whoever had done the drilling didn't understand fault lines. He also told him that the vein was just three feet from where Darby had stopped. The junk dealer found the gold and made millions.

We often fail because we stop short of success. When I looked at my life, I realized that I'd never really failed at anything. When I took a good hard look at my "failures" I realized that in every case, I had simply quit.

Have you taken the time to look at your failures in life? How's your track record when it comes to facing difficulty and disappointment? Have you developed the habit of quitting?

The Old Testament story of David and Goliath is familiar to just about everyone. We all know that the "little guy" defeats the "big giant" with just a sling and some faith. But what we often don't think about is God's army and what they experienced.

When we read the story we learn that the army got up every morning, prepared for battle, did their "battle cry," and then something went terribly wrong. The giant Goliath came out and challenged them to send out their champion.

It was at that point that every man's heart failed and fear overtook them. This process was repeated day after day for forty days. For forty days they hoped and prepared only to have to face failure again and again. No one had the courage to face Goliath until a young shepherd boy named David came along and said, "I'll fight him!"

I don't know how those soldiers felt for those forty days, but I know that I've had many times in my life when a giant problem seemed too hard to overcome, and my fear led to a decision to quit, a decision to fail.

But what can we do when faced with defeats and setbacks?

The first thing to do is to think about R. U. Darby who stopped three feet short of gold, and those soldiers who let fear cause them to fail for forty days. And then remember that we can't give up, there's too much to lose. After all, our dreams are at stake.

Reaching our dreams will require that we face our fears and overcome our failures. Success may be right around the corner and it will probably come in a way that we don't expect. Darby didn't know that all he needed was someone with mining experience and the soldiers didn't know that a young boy would kill the giant.

Hold on to your hope, continue to pursue your dreams, and know that the answer will come when you least expect it.

Rob Marshall is the author of "Taking On Goliath - How to Unleash the David in All of Us." Learn how you can unleash your faith and overcome any "Goliath" that may stand between you and your dreams.

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