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A Lesson From Ghosts of the Past

Updated: Jan 13

History fascinates me because there is so much we can learn from the past. My dad has been letting me borrow a book written by a Secret Service agent, Clint Hill, who served five of our nation’s presidents.


When President Kennedy secretly authorized the U.S. involvement in what would become the failed Bay of Pigs, Mr. Hill was a witness within the walls of the White House. In the aftermath Kennedy invited Eisenhower to join him at Camp David as he wrestled with personal turmoil.


Mr. Hill wrote, “Clearly, the new, young president realized the former general had many more years of wisdom, and although he represented the opposing political party, was truly the one person in the world who could offer substantive advice and in whom Kennedy could confide.”

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It is incredible that Kennedy was willing to sit with one who could have been considered an opponent, but it sets a wonderful example for us to follow. When we’re willing to do it, the rewards are great.

  1. Seek humility – Though I can’t relate to carrying responsibility for world events (thank the Lord), I am familiar with the place where wise counsel is needed. It can be hard to ask for help and advice, but doing so is where we begin to learn wisdom. Proverbs 12:15 says, “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.” We need teachable hearts.

  2. Receive the gift of the wise – Many (especially those who are more advanced in years) have godly wisdom to offer. Sound counsel is worthy of seeking and considering – even if we don’t agree in all areas. No matter who is giving advice, always compare it to God’s word and make sure it lines up.

  3. Be an encourager – Being a willing presence is vital to one in need. Eisenhower didn’t have to respond to Kennedy, but he gave his time and counsel. Oh, I know – we don’t always know what to say. Don’t be afraid to admit when you, “don’t know the answer, but know where we can look for it together.”

Maybe there is something you’re wrestling with or contemplating today. Or, maybe you have been asked into the circle of someone who needs advice. Let me encourage you to recall the actions of two of the most influential men of their day.

Let’s work on seeking God first and practicing courage to reach out to His people. Life is best when we don’t go through it alone.

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