Beware where you get your advice

English: Colin Powell on a visit to Google on ...

My husband and I have been reading a book called “It Worked For Me” by Colin Powell.  In his first chapter he shared some pieces of advice that he has lived by.  One of the pieces of advice was:  Don’t take counsel of your fears or naysayers.  Thought today I’d share an example of how I would have been better off to have heeded that advice.

Last Saturday my 6 & 10 year old daughters, my husband, and I spent a day upgrading our chicken coop.  We have lost a number of young chicks to the local hawk population and we were adding a better run area with a roof and more protection.  When we finished we were hot and tired, but very pleased with the results.  As we stepped back and observed our work, I realized that the coop now looked almost EXACTLY like I had originally planned the coop out.

I built the original coop a little over a year and a half ago.  I had done a bunch of research, checked out what was already in the garage, and come up with a workable plan.  My husband was very ill, so I built it with my 15 year old son.  At 15 years old he already was better at “construction” and using power tools than I was, so I relied heavily on his suggestions.  We ended up with a good, solid coop, but an inadequate run area.  We had disagreements over the run area that resulted in his pulling out everything I had done, and leaving a halfhearted effort where there should have been a run.  The door only sort of worked, but rather than finding a fix, he changed everything, and it has not worked at all since.

I shouldn’t have listened to my naysayer, even if he was family, and the “expert.”  I was the one who had done all the research, and come up with the plans.  I find it amazing that after all this time we came back around to where we should have started off.  A quote from the book seems all too appropriate.

“Each of us must work to become a hardheaded realist, or else we risk wasting our time and energy pursuing impossible dreams.  Yet constant naysayers pursue no less impossible dreams.  Their fear and cynicism move nothing forward.  They kill progress.  How many cynics built empires, great cities, or powerful corporations?”

I have been prompted to wonder how often the Lord has great and miraculous things in store for us, but we instead are too cynical or fearful to pursue them.  How often do we lose years of our life, only to come back to where we started?  A few chickens short.  I think Powell hit the nail on the head.  It is our fear and our cynicism that are most likely to stop us.  It is not God, and not an inability to work miracles.

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