Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Making a Comeback, Part 2

The world’s greatest leaders often have spotty resumes.  

Joseph went from spoiled rich boy to slave, then convict. But he came back from the dungeon to become a ruler of the most prosperous nation in the world.  

Moses went from Prince of Egypt, to a refugee shepherd, to the man who established Israel as a nation.

Elijah boldly defied the king but then immediately ran and hid for three years. He came back, embarrassed the prophets of Baal in a show of great power, but then had to run again. He wanted to give up and die, but he didn't. Instead went back once more and this time he reorganized the entire government.  

Simon Peter had grand aspirations but failed his Rabbi at the critical time. He came back to preach the first sermon about the risen Christ and 3000 people were baptized in response to his message.  

John Mark failed to complete the first mission trip of Paul. It doesn’t say why, but Paul wasn’t willing to depend on him on the next trip. However, near the end of his life, Paul wrote that “John Mark is very helpful to me.” I like to think both of them made a comeback.  

In more recent history, most of us know about Abraham Lincoln’s failures in business and politics until he became the 16th President of the United States and ushered the country through a civil war to bring about union.  

Winston Churchill suffered debilitating depression and alcoholism. He was not a good peacetime leader, but when the world erupted in War, he rallied the people of Britain to rise up and stand resolute against the bigger enemy.  

Dwight Eisenhower was a nice enough guy. He was well regarded in the Army; however, he was not considered a candidate for any major position of command. Yet he became a five star general and Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in World War II. Later he became Supreme Commander of NATO. Then he became the 34th President of the United States.  

They weren’t born great. Their backgrounds sometimes looked unremarkable although their experiences often gave them significant skill sets. All of them suffered major setbacks. But they persevered. When the big moments came, they were ready.

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