Read the first part of this book review here.
When I picked up 1776 and realized it was going to follow George Washington and his army through this monumental year I expected to be reading all about the great decision making skills and tactical prowess of this man. However, that is not at all what I got. Instead I was reminded that General Washington was human. That he was flawed. That he at times was indecisive, which cost lives. That he struggled with tactical errors. At first this really made me feel uneasy. I wanted a Washington who was flawless.
However, the more I read the more I began to appreciate two aspects of Washington: Perseverance and Belief. You see Washington had his errors, but he refused to give up. When things were bleak it was Washington who urged his men to keep to the fight (even when he himself was not immune to low morale). Washington found an inner strength to handle whatever situation came his way. This inner strength was because of a firm belief that his cause was just. He did not waver in believing that what he was doing was right and therefore no matter what the troubles (of his own doing or the doing of others) he was going to stay the course.
I liked this because I am flawed. I do not always say the right thing in the right way. I do not always do the right thing with the right motives. There are times that my flaws are not only obvious to me but to others. These flaws can make me feel as if I’m useless or hopeless. However, this book reminds me of something that I know is true from Scripture as well. That is that perseverance and belief are still foundational. I may have my flaws but I belief that what I’m involved in is a worthwhile cause (in fact I believe it is the greatest cause in the world, the cause for which we were created and for which God’s Son died) and that belief helps me to continue to move forward.
General Washington might not have been the best tactician or most decisive leader in the Revolutionary War. I’m not the smartest person or the most eloquent speaker, but if I will persevere and believe I know God can use me.
He can also use you.