Many leaders are stopped in their tracks when unintended consequences, literally and figuratively, “hit them in the face.” One of our founding fathers, who is mostly forgotten, was known as the most popular man of his day. He spoke to the biggest crowd recorded at the time – 80,000 in Hyde Park. He befriended Benjamin Franklin even though their worldviews were miles apart. He gave his life toward the aim of his opus and was wildly successful. He started orphanages all across the south, and was known as one of the fathers of a radical group that changed the world.
He was also beaten for this same work and left for dead. He had parts of dead cats and dogs thrown at him during his speeches. He was egged and plastered with rotten food of all types. His best friend turned on him when he was overseas. He was banned from places that had previously welcomed him. His life was constantly threatened till he died an early death brought on by fatigue from 13 ocean crossings and 18,000 “field” based sermons. His life, like yours and mine, was bitter and sweet. Fact.
His name was George Whitefield and his life is chronicled very well in the book titled, Forgotten Founding Father, by Stephen Mansfield. George was a man of great work and great pain. As you discover, cultivate, and live your strong CORE, do not miss this lesson by George. Your work will not always be received as intended. Regardless your position, popularity, or prominence, you too will struggle. You will misunderstand and be misunderstood. Oftentimes, your accomplishments will be accompanied by unintended consequence – some will really hurt too. You will be loved and despised in your pursuit of great work.
Do not let unintended consequences stop you and your great work. Keep going and remember that these obstacles are simply the price builder’s pay for trying to do something great. Maybe, like Marcus Aurelius, you and I may come to discover that these obstacles are the way. By George, I hope so. So, it is in that spirit that I remind you and me to, well, carry on, by George. Carry on. You may be a founding father of sorts and started something great. At times it will feel like, even your teammates have turned against you. Carry on. You may be a father and started a family. At times it will feel like you’re a foreigner to the fruit of your loin. Carry on. You may be fatherless and feeling abandoned and alone. Look up, friend. Your Heavenly Father wants to help you carry on. Carry on. You see, fathers carry on. Good…