So I am officially a student again, I got my student card yesterday and was excited today to receive my first lot of mail at my new place and find that my student oyster card had arrived (how sad am I?!!). The joy of this delivery means that I now can purchase a years worth of travel on the wonderful (slightly sarcastic tone...) London underground (and above ground) system for the mere price of 750 pounds. What fun!
All that aside I am loving studying and learning again. It is only day two, and potentially this may change by the end of the year as the intensity of the course will steeply increase, but I am regaining my passion for knowledge and learning and starting to focus again (which I have to admit I was worried about) and define where I want to be and work in the future.
I've been recently thinking about success and failure. I came across this story of Abraham Lincoln a few years back and thought it worth sharing because he overcame and succeeded despite consistent failure and opposition throughout his life. All the odds seemed against him, yet still he persevered.
| Event ||Year|
|He had to work to support his family after they were forced out of their home.||1816|
|His mother died.||1818|
|Failed in business.||1831|
|Was defeated for legislature.||1832|
|Lost his job and couldn't get into law school.||1832|
| Declared bankruptcy, and spent the next 17 years of his life paying off the money |
he borrowed from friends to start his business.
|Was defeated for legislature again.||1834|
|Was engaged to be married, but his sweetheart died and his heart was broken.||1835|
|Had a nervous breakdown and spent the next six months in bed.||1836|
|Was defeated in becoming the speaker of the state legislature.||1838|
|Was defeated in becoming elector.||1840|
|Was defeated for Congress||1843|
|Was defeated for Congress.||1846|
|Was defeated for Congress again.||1848|
|Was rejected for the job of Land Officer in his home state.||1849|
|Was defeated for Senate.||1854|
|Was defeated for Vice-President -- got less than 100 votes.||1856|
|Was defeated for Senate for the third time.||1858|
| Was elected President of the United States. |
Stumbling, falling down, getting back up and continuing on - that's a sign of righteousness. I think we often expect that life is going to be smooth sailing and that things will always go right and work out, but in reality life is rarely like that. I bet that there were plenty of moments where Abraham Lincoln felt like giving up when he kept being defeated but he persevered, was patient and kept plodding on trying again and again and again, before eventually being a great man of history.
I long for the sense of purpose and direction that he obviously had. I do have a vague sense of direction and meaning and purpose, but I am still develping that, shaping it as I grow learn and change. I wonder what sort of lessons we are learning right now through our successes and failures. I know that it has taken me a few failures and knock backs to get to the point of life that I am now. I am trying to get into the international nutrition development field, a place where there is great need but at the same time difficult to break into. I've had moments where I've felt that I'm wasting my time that I should focus on something else, and felt utter despair because I've just been going around in circle banging my head against the wall, hitting closed door after closed door. Yet at the same time, it is generally through these moments that I've also felt such a concrete sense that this is where I want to be what I want to do. I wonder if Abraham Lincoln felt the same when he was faced with another defeat.
Carpe diem. Seize the day.
Commit to the Lord whatever you do and your plans will succeed. Proverbs 16:3
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9.
Be strong therefore, and do not let your hands be weak and slack, for your work shall be rewarded. 2 Chronicles 15:7
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 1 Corinthians 9:24