Lincoln Lesson #1 – Destiny

I haven’t blogged the last three days – a great time away from technology to be with my family.  One of my many rewarding experiences over this Thanksgiving break was reading Lincoln: A Life of Purpose and Power by Richard Carwardine.  A great book that I will blog about another day.

One of the reasons I am such a Linco-phile (I made that word up!) is that I can identify with so many parts of his life.  For example,  in 1858, after losing the Illinois  senatorial election to Douglas, Lincoln was quoted as saying that nobody would remember him – he would now sink into obscurity "having done a mite to steer the public discourse" regarding Illinois’ future political agenda.  Lincoln thought that his biggest impact on the world was to be his losing contest with Douglas – the man who beat him in the senatorial election, and who Lincoln thought would eventually win the White House.  Yet Lincoln still felt compelled by a sense of DESTINY… that somehow Providence had called him to reach beyond what he could see and make a BIG impact. 

Yes, Lincoln had ambition, but he was often melancholy over the disparity between his life as he saw it (electoral defeat after defeat) and his sense of unfulfilled destiny.  Little did he know in the waning days of 1858 that two years later he would be on a train bound for Washington DC after a landslide electoral win!  And, of course, it was the body of his actions in his time of obscurity that propelled him to a position of impact and destiny.  He was fulfilling his destiny without even knowing it!

Without unduly comparing myself to Lincoln I have to admit…I wrestle with a sense of destiny as well. 

Putting that into words on a blog feels very revealing and naked – like I have just soul-flashed you. 

But I do feel as if God has called me to SOMETHING that is yet to be seen.  And sometimes I look at my life, and review my list of "accomplishments" (as stupid as that is) and think that I too will fade away into obscurity without ever having made the impact that I should.

Of course, there is a difference between wanting to be known and wanting to make an impact.  And after years of soul-searching I know that I have zero desire to be known.  My desire is for impact.  To be able to stand before my Dad at the end of my life and know I left it all in the ring.  That I IMPACTED as many people as I possibly could, and nothing stopped me.  The struggle is believing that what I do now, when I sometimes question my impact, is forming the destiny that God has for me.  Lincoln embraced who he was, where he was, and did what he thought was best.  I hope to look back on my life and know I’ve done the same. 


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