It’s something we’ll all face sooner or later. It doesn’t discriminate between the poor or the rich. It has no preference of time or place. It may come when we least expect, or we may be living it right now. What is it? Failure.
It’s not an easy topic to discuss, yet it’s one that has some of the most profound impact on our lives. The irony of failure is that what one person or culture deems it as, may not be what another does. In order to get a hold of those feelings in our life, we need to look at how we view success.
In America, we put such a heavy emphasis on money being the gauge of a person’s success while, in many countries of the world, they view large families and community participation as success. With money, may come the prestige of title, power, and fame. And, if we don’t achieve them, then we may look at ourselves as a failure even when we may be considered rich by other country’s standards.
Of course, there are the obvious things we would all probably agree are failures which would be a list too long to put here. We could all make our own list for that matter. My list would be pretty long too.
Why am I writing about failure on the eve of Independence Day anyway? This is supposed to be a time with family and celebrating our freedoms as a country. All true, and it is, yet, this morning while on my walk with the Mrs., I couldn’t shake the feeling that there are those who may read this tonight who are really wrestling with failure of one kind or another.
If left unchecked, feelings of failure can consume us. They may not show outwardly but will come out in the ways we treat others and our lack of self-confidence. Ironically, some of the richest and most famous people view themselves as failures.
The truth is, failure is rarely all one person’s fault. Usually, it’s a combination of circumstances, most of them out of our control, coming together to create the perfect storm.
There are those who will never admit to failure as well. They see life through a single pane of glass that views everyone around them as the ones to blame for their misfortune. Those people are normally the ones who are the least sensitive, most unforgiving, and judgmental of others.
If I’ve learned one thing from my past failures, it’s that I’m only human. I remember coming home from a summer break after making a choice I regret to this day. I sat down with my mother and told her about it.
I really didn’t know what to expect, but I knew I needed to get it out. Her response to me was one I’ll never forget. She said, ‘I’m glad to know you’re human. I love you…”. That’s all she needed to say. Her unconditional love as a mother, as well as her own understanding from having been there, was a demonstration of God’s love to me.
While standing outside tonight waiting on the chicken to grill, I sensed that still, small, loving voice speak to me again saying, “I love you Brad. More than you can possibly imagine. Your failures in life aren’t what you see them as. They are learning lessons to help you grow more into My image’.
In that brief moment, I knew I was loved, forgiven, and not condemned. Not only that, I could look back and see how I’ve learned from those failures and how, today, my life is so much different because of them.
I don’t believe that happened to me tonight just for me. If you’re wrestling with feelings of failure, God wants you to know you are loved more than you can imagine. It may be financial, a job, a relationship, personal choices that you can’t find freedom from, or just a gnawing sense of self-hate.
Whatever it is, you’re not alone. We all deal with failure in our life and there is always hope. Tomorrow truly does bring with it a chance to try again. That adage is so very true that, if at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.
Most importantly, I want you to know today that you are loved unconditionally by God and there are those of us out here who love you too. Look up, because the best is yet to come my friend!