Former IFA chairman, frequent business speaker and commentator, shares thoughts on faith and leadership with Lauren Miller of Stress Solutions University
I recently had two wonderful opportunities to speak with Lauren E. Miller, an inspiring woman who has written a series of books on ways to overcome stress and a cancer survivor who found strength during her battle thanks to her faith in God.
The first opportunity came at “Secret Knock,” an invitation-only event that is similar to a TED Talk. I was invited to speak at the event in San Diego in March, where I met Lauren and discovered our mutual belief in the importance of faith. She recently asked me to speak with her again for the benefit of her listeners. Lauren founded Stress Solutions University to help others conquer the obstacles in their lives, and I’m very happy to share what I have learned.
To summarize our chat, which you can listen to above, I have found faith in God to be indispensable to my career as I have dealt with setbacks and shortcomings and worked to achieve my goals. Life is a journey filled with uncertainty and risk, and every choice you make has consequences. Faith, and my belief that God has one of two destinations in mind for me, guide the choices that I make.
That’s especially true when times are hard. Life is full of difficulty, and pain, and outright evil. One of the great theological and philosophical questions is, if God is good, why is there evil and suffering in the world? Absent an answer, and if the seed of doubt is allowed to flourish, that question forms the bedrock for atheism. My answer comes from my faith in the wisdom and justice of God, who has a plan for us and who uses pain and suffering in the world to make us stronger, better people.
Lauren asked me if there was a moment in my life that stood out as a time when faith was especially important. There are several, but one of the most prominent was in Vietnam, when the platoon I was leading was trapped by enemies in the A Shau Valley and I didn’t think we would make it out. I remember having my face in the mud, praying. We were fortunate to escape, and it made me realize the importance of living a life of faith. I remember Pastor Jim Boice, when he was diagnosed with cancer, asking, should I pray for a miracle? And his answer was no. He felt he should pray for the glorification of God. It’s essential to trust in His plan and to live life according to His teachings. Trust is essential to any relationship, and that’s especially true of your relationship with God. Trusting God is the foundation of faith — not the weak trust that you have when times are good and success surrounds you, but trust in his ultimate plan even when you are confronted with tragedy and when evil seems to go unpunished.