I fail everyday at something. And so do you.
It’s true. No one is 100% with every attempt. Even the most capable at many things is not perfect in everything. It is not a matter of when we fail, but how often and where we fail that are the better questions to ask.
Statistics say that more often than not we fail at a much higher percentage than we succeed. That is true of hitting a baseball where 33.3% of the time will get you a sniff at the Hall of Fame. If I had only known that earlier in life! Its seems to be true with grade school grades nowadays as a 60 % is a D which technically passes you onto the next section or subject. In my days a D meant that I had to consider running away from home. When did passing chemistry become so easy?
Failing usually requires more than one mishap or mess up. To fail at something requires we have a series of “dropped balls” or “oppsy daises.” When it becomes obvious that failure has arrived it is because one, two, three, or twenty opportunities of success has passed us by. Failing ultimately settles in because time and time again we chose not to act in positive, pro active ways to guarantee or garner success.
If you failed at something today it is quite likely that you aren’t a failure. It just means that you messed up. It might mean that you need to revisit the failure and examine what you could do differently. It might mean that you need to apologize and eat a little crow over a relational fail with a spouse or a friend. It might mean that you need to repent and pledge to never act or live in that failed way again. But one fail today does not make you a failure or mean that you are failing in that way. Being able to see that failure is not (usually) a single moment, but a habitual pattern is the most helpful, healthy thing we can remind ourselves of each day.
So, cheers to that dad that failed at keeping his anger suppressed at the site of a poor progress report. Tomorrow is a new chance to succeed by showing love and patience.
Cheers to the mom that had a “knock down drag out” with little Ms over her clothes, hair, or general attitude about life. You’ll win her back tomorrow.
Cheers to the girl/boy that feels like nothing went right today at all and that everybody hates you. It didn’t and they don’t. You are special, unique, and beautiful. Wait and see what tomorrow holds for you.
Cheers to the boy who wrecked his car and almost created a catastrophic event. You are not a bad driver, you are not reckless, you are not out of control. You made a mistake. Slow down. Life is worth strolling through rather than racing past.
Cheers to the coach who has given their all to a team only to feel unappreciated and discounted by players, parents, and administration. Your investment into one player for one season will make you a success for a lifetime.
Cheers to the pastor/church who had a down Sunday. You didn’t fail because people didn’t show up or the offering plates were light this week. Failing only occurs if the gospel is absent from your preaching, worship, fellowship, and outreach – regardless of the scale you work on.
Cheers to the Christian sister/brother who worked all day to glorify God in the way you live and work only to lose it in frustration and fear. God doesn’t judge you based on your performance. He has embraced you in all your failures so that in Christ you may become the aroma of success living in faith, hope, and love.
Let’s not swim in our failures and we should not fail boldly to prove a point. But we are not the sum total of a days (or a lifetime) worth of failing. We are somebody that God made with purpose and pride. Failing is a part of living. To never fail – or never admit failure – is to not be real. Real things fall, bleed, and break. Real things also are helped, healed, and given hope.
Cheer up. Failure is not only an option, but a reality. And it just may be our way to a better life as we grow up from having fallen down.
We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies. (2 Corinthians 4:6-10)