It’s the joke you told and no one laughed.
It’s the job you got fired from.
It’s the “great idea” that singed your eyebrows, sent your best friend to the hospital, or turned your dog green for 6 months.
It’s the “Hey… watch THIS!” moment that nearly landed you a Darwin Award.
One has only to Google the word fail to find a host of cringe-worthy, heart-wrenching, and oftentimes humorous results that come from that particular search. Fails come in all shapes and sizes… from the personal unfortunate moment captured by your little sister and posted to Instagram, to the architectural mis-design that garnered the attention of the world (the Tacoma Narrows Bridge), to the truly tragic that resulted in untimely death or serious injury. But while losing a job, or failing as an inventor for the 500th time can take the proverbial wind out of your sails, just because you fail doesn’t make you a failure.
When faced with multiple failures trying to create the incandescent light bulb, Thomas Edison made this observation…
I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.
American founding father, statesman, and inventor Benjamin Franklin said…
Do not fear mistakes. You will know failure. Continue to reach out.
Billionaire and real-estate tycoon Donald Trump expressed it this way…
Sometimes by losing a battle you find a new way to win the war.
Microsoft founder Bill Gates stated…
It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.
All of these men experienced disappointment. These men all experienced some sort of failure. However, experiencing failure and being a failure are two entirely different things.
Failing does not make you a failure. After Peter famously told Jesus that, even if everyone else turned away from Him, he would not, but then proceeded to deny Jesus three times in His hour of need, most would have written Peter off as an abject failure and loser.
Upon His resurrection, Peter found redemption in Jesus’ words, “Peter, do you love Me?” No grovelling. No penance. No period of probation or trying to make it up to the Savior. Jesus understood Peter’s heart, understood His weakness, and showed Peter in no uncertain terms that even the most horrific failure is not always final. He gave Peter hope, and by giving Peter that hope at that time, Peter went on to become “The Rock” that Jesus depended on in the infancy of the early church.
So what is your fail? What is your moment from which you need to pick yourself up by your bootstraps, dust off, and re-affix your eyes on the Savior? It’s time to stop seeing yourself through the eyes of your embarrassment, and start seeing yourself through the eyes of the One Who looks at you, and sees nothing but potential.
Today, I leave you with a thought from President Theodore Roosevelt…
Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure… than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.