Lessons from Valley Forge-NEVER GIVE UP

Frog-chokes-Bird Winnemucca Main Street

Good Morning from wonderful Winnemucca, Nevada. This is my third and final post for the week. The post published on Wednesday July 24, 2013 titled “What I learned from blogging about Farmers!” invoked a conversation with a friend of mine. He asked me what I was doing today to accomplish those hopes and dreams I had mentioned. I gave him the standard “I am still looking for courage” remark, and he shot back a quote from one of his church leaders that really made me think.

“We can think a thought to death, but only when we move upon the thought do we bless human lives” Thomas S. Monson.

I must admit I have killed a few good thoughts just by not acting upon them. It is so easy to sit back and talk about how things should be, but a whole different story to then get on our feet and make those things happen.

I have a picture that hangs on my wall in my home of “The Prayer at Valley Forge”. This picture is of George Washington praying on a cold night when his troops were at a very low point in the Revolutionary War. According to the website http://www.PrayeratValleyForge.com the story of George Washington at valley Forge is nothing short of a miracle, and is quoted as follows-

Prayer at Valley Forge

The Eye Witness Testimony of Isaac Potts

“This story is well documented in the historical records. Isaac Potts, 26 years old, was a resident of Valley Forge, and as a Quaker was opposed to the war. He supervised the grinding of the grain which George Washington ordered the neighboring farmers to bring to his army. The fullest account of Potts’ testimony is in the “Diary and Remembrances” of Rev. Nathaniel Randolph Snowden, a Presbyterian minister and a Princeton graduate (Original Manuscript at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Call no. PHi.Am.1561-1568).

“I was riding with him (Mr. Potts) near Valley Forge, where the army lay during the war of the Revolution. Mr. Potts was a Senator in our state and a Whig. I told him I was agreeably surprised to find him a friend to his country as the Quakers were mostly Tories. He said, “It was so and I was a rank Tory once, for I never believed that America could proceed against Great Britain whose fleets and armies covered the land and ocean. But something very extraordinary converted me to the good faith.”

“What was that?” I inquired. “Do you see that woods, and that plain?” It was about a quarter of a mile from the place we were riding. “There,” said he, “laid the army of Washington. It was a most distressing time of ye war, and all were for giving up the ship but that one good man. In that woods,” pointing to a close in view, “I heard a plaintive sound, as of a man at prayer. I tied my horse to a sapling and went quietly into the woods and to my astonishment I saw the great George Washington on his knees alone, with his sword on one side and his cocked hat on the other. He was at Prayer to the God of the Armies, beseeching to interpose with his Divine aid, as it was ye Crisis and the cause of the country, of humanity, and of the world.

“Such a prayer I never heard from the lips of man. I left him alone praying. I went home and told my wife,’I saw a sight and heard today what I never saw or heard before’, and just related to her what I had seen and heard and observed. We never thought a man could be a soldier and a Christian, but if there is one in the world, it is Washington. We thought it was the cause of God, and America could prevail.”

The rebels should have never won the Revolutionary War against the mighty Great Britain, but leaders such as George Washington and others refused to lose. They just did not sit around and talk about how they would win independence, but worked hard, and suffered much to bring these ideas to fruition and brought about the United States of America. Failure was just not an option. What would have happened if these great men did not act upon their thoughts and intentions? How many lives have been blessed by this great country? This is the reason why I have this picture hanging in my home, I need a constant reminder that “failure is not an option”, and that miracles can and do still happen through hard work and patience.

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work”
Thomas A. Edison

In response to my friend’s questions “What am I doing today to work toward accomplishing my hopes and dreams? I am trying to better my skills, so I wrote a post about capital budgeting in agriculture; I am going to do one act of service each day. It might be a very small act of service, but it will help somebody. Giving service helps me to stay grounded and focused on what is really important. Make a plan of action, and focus on one goal at a time. It is so easy to start too many projects and then not be able to finish any of them because we are too busy. I will remember that all things are possible, and that failure is just not an option.
If you are struggling to accomplish your hopes and dreams, ask yourself the same question my friend asked me “What are or what can you do today to work toward that goal. Remember George Washington and the Revolutionary War. Make a plan of action, work toward it and never give up!

“They who want milk should not sit in the middle if a field and wait for a cow to back up to them”
Lillian Katz

Milk cow in a pasture



2 thoughts on “Lessons from Valley Forge-NEVER GIVE UP

  1. CaRynn Conder

    What a great article. I really enjoyed the one you wrote about Dad. Thanks Howard. -CaRynn Ashcroft Conder


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