One of my favorite motivational stories is about 4 Lepers who start out as the outcast or “black sheep” in their family, but end up being the catalyst for an economic shift that changed a country. Here’s my version of this true story.
It was a time of war for the nation. The city gates were locked shut and the army was standing guard. The atmosphere within was filled with fear of the unknown. The people had endured as long as they could, but there was no sign of relief. Their food and trade supply was shut off because the enemy’s army camped outside, daring anyone to make their way outside the gates and eagerly awaiting an entry point. Food was scarce and a time of famine had encroached upon the nation. Fathers and mothers searched desperately for anything to bring nourishment to their families. Pigeon dung was rapidly becoming a delicacy.
Yet in the midst of this turmoil, rose a voice of hope. The giver of hope sat within the courts of the King delivering a word for the nation. He declared, “This time tomorrow food will be plentiful—a handful of meal for a shekel; two handfuls of grain for a shekel. The market at the city gate will be buzzing.” This declaration sparked hope within the people, yet one person mocked him. He couldn’t see beyond his current situation.
Meanwhile, 4 Lepers sat by the roadside, outside of the city gates, with no protection. They were rejected by their friends, families and the entire nation because of their disease. Their bodies ached with the disease that disfigured them and caused them to be abandoned. Not only were they affected by the famine that hit their entire nation, but they had to face it alone, outside the protection that the others may have taken for granted; while battling a disease that had no cure. These Lepers however, carried a different mindset than most would in their situation. During a fateful conversation they examined their circumstances among each other.
They asked each other, “”What are we doing sitting here at death’s door? If we enter the famine-struck city we’ll die; if we stay here we’ll die. So let’s take our chances in the camp of Aram and throw ourselves on their mercy. If they receive us we’ll live, if they kill us we’ll die. We’ve got nothing to lose.”
They ignored the voice of their circumstances which cried loud for attention, and chose to face their biggest fear – death. That day, they got up from where they had been sitting and took a step. After all, they really had nothing to lose!
To their surprise, the enemy’s camp had been abandoned in haste. They had run away in the middle of the night and left tents filled with food, supplies, weapons, and treasures in tact. The 4 Lepers were able to go in and feast, but they also made another decision. They shared their new-found treasures with the same people who previously made them outcasts. The voice of hope had been accurate…the nation’s economic system shifted in one day when 4 Lepers decided, “we’ve got nothing to lost”, then took action.
What’s the moral of the story you ask? Stop allowing the voice of your current situation to dictate to you, instead choose to cultivate the mind of an AchieVer and listen to the voice of hope within. Then take the voice of hope and couple it with bold action. It only takes one person to create change in your life and that person is YOU!
Cultivate the AchieVer within!
For more information on this true story read: The book of 2 Kings 7 in the Bible.