So many times in life we make plans and pursue them only to run into a dead end. This applies to relationships, jobs, athletics, business, and probably everything else. We have a vision or great idea. Our time, money, blood, sweat and tears and passion are poured into it, but it doesn’t work.
But think of all the inventions and discoveries of mankind. Those leaders of progress also experienced failure after failure before succeeding. – Columbus sailed 3 voyages across the Atlantic; but, he never stepped a foot on the content of the Americas. Edison took years to find the right filament for the light bulb. Einstein spent his life trying to reconcile the macro and micro universes. He died trying. And the Wright brothers crashed many times before they flew!
This has also been the case with HirePatriots. – My wife and I are just two average people. But we have a vision and a purpose. We are even convinced that God has given us this assignment. — Our goal is to create a permanent employment safety net for all US veterans. We have devoted almost every waking minute of our lives and every cent of our resources on this endeavor. We have been giving it our all for at least 9 years. Eventhough, sometimes it seems that we are no further than when we started. And there are always lots of reasons for us to feel frustrated and to give up.
But this is the destination that all of us encounter throughout our lives in so many situations. It’s like an airport or train station. We have a choice of which direction to take: Go back and give up; or, go forward and somehow find the strength to continue.
In the Bible there is a prophet named Ezekiel. He had a vision of God one day. In his vision he saw four faces of God: A lion, a man, an eagle, and a simple ox. – Here is the thing about oxen. (They are not anything like cows.) When an ox is yoked with a plow to furrow a field to bear produce, an ox always walks in a straight line. They do not deviate to the left or to the right. They keep moving forward, regardless of terrain or difficulty. – I think that God has made me and Tori, my dear life companion and wife, oxen.
We have grown old and grey working tirelessly on this effort to honor US veterans properly. And much has been lost and stolen along the way. So much of what we once considered valuable or essential is now gone but worthless to us. Our reward and what is of worth to us now is progress: Anything that moves us closer to a better America that properly respects and rewards its military servants and their families is our satisfaction.
Tori and I have spent a typical Saturday today. It is like anyother day. We woke before dawn and have continued late into the night. We concluded this evening with an enlivened and excited conversation about our upcoming book comprised of many veteran employment experts, “An American Crisis: Veteran Unemployment.” – We also discussed changes on our website, HirePatriots.com. And we lamented that we are not able to afford the hosting of another 3 day Military Marriage Advance that we have held for 8 years. Then we dreamt aloud together about “what ifs’ and our longed for journey across the USA in an RV, spreading our message to every community, kind of like modern day Paul Reveres.
Then the fatigue of our constant work that day buried us beneath its weight, and we collapsed against eachother, shoulder to shoulder, head against head. – After I tucked Tori into bed, I came back and wrote this.
The Bible says that right now these 3 things endure: Faith, Hope and Love. – We have Faith that God is with us. We have Hope that we will succeed. We have Love for all Americans; but, we are called especially to serve US veterans.
Mark & Tori Baird