Suffice to say we Kentuckians are understandably proud that Mr. Lincoln was also a Kentuckian.
More importantly he was an American and every single one of us can be both proud and thankful for that.
As you may know, I am completely in love with old books. One of my favorites is Words to Live By (Copyright 1947-1957). This golden oldie is a collection of writings by some of the wisest men and women of all time.
In honor of Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday, I thought you might enjoy this article which appears in Words to Live By. It’s by Reverend James Keller and it is outstanding.
Failure Isn’t Fatal
by The Reverend James Keller, M.M.
Author of “You Can Change the World”
Too often, it seems to me, people lose their courage in facing life because of past failures or fear that they may fail in the future.
One good way to cure such fears is to remember the story of a man who actually built a lifetime of accomplishments out of defeats. The following litany of failures that punctuated his life throughout thirty years is a living and eloquent example of the successful use of defeat in achieving victory.
Abraham Lincoln’s record is as follows:
- Lost job 1832
- Defeated for legislature 1832
- Failed in business 1833
- Elected to legislature 1834
- Sweetheart died 1835
- Had nervous breakdown 1836
- Defeated for speaker 1838
- Defeated for nomination for Congress 1843
- Elected to Congress 1846
- Lost renomination 1848
- Rejected for land officer 1849
- Defeated for Senate 1854
- Defeated for nomination for Vice-President 1856
- Again defeated for Senate 1858
- Elected President 1860
Lincoln’s deep conviction that God had given him a mission to fulfill accounted in no small way for his deep humility and ability to push on in the face of difficulties and failures that would have discouraged most people.
His abiding faith was well summed up in this comment which he made after becoming President: “God selects His own instruments, and sometimes they are queer ones; for instance, He chose me to steer the ship through a great crisis.”
You, too, in God’s providence can be an instrument in bringing His love, truth and peace to a world in urgent need of it.
And with Abraham Lincoln, you too can learn to say, “With God’s help I shall not fail.”
Never despair. But if you do, work on in despair. – Edmund Burke