Challenges are more often like marathons than sprints. We’re most spent as we near the finish line, and when I can’t see the end, sometimes I falter and it’s tempting to quit rather than carry on.
“God,” I said, “I’m not entering any more writing contests if I don’t win something this time.” —I almost didn’t enter, but I figured entering my article on failing was appropriate since I’m so adept at it. Besides, the road to success is often paved with failure.
The best will fail the most.
George Washington lost more battles than he won. Thomas Edison scrapped more “great ideas” than he ever saw come to fruition.
This is a terrible way to introduce an article, Bryan! You’re supposed to grip the reader with a compelling opener, but since you’re the boss of this contest here goes: I am participating in the Writing Contest: You Are Enough, hosted by Positive Writer.
I really like you Bryan, because you’re real, an overcomer, and your is heart to encourage and equip others.
Did you miss the memo that anything worth doing is hard? Writing is hard work. For me it is mentally, physically, and spiritually exhausting. And exhilarating too—but that usually comes after the exhausting. It is time intensive and demanding. But it’s worth it. Your calling costs something too.
Life happens. Sometimes all you can handle is small steps and bite sized pieces, but they will get you where you’re going. Instead of overdrive on the Autobahn you might need to take the slow country road for awhile. Somewhere between doing nothing and doing everything, there is balance.
“And I look around at all these wives and mamas who got. It. Down. Seriously, I’m surrounded by women who don’t just impress me. They terrify me with their apparent perfection,” said my friend, Rebekah.
“Beauty is being real—and letting Jesus do His thing. He’s the master builder, we’re His work in progress. Building sites and renovations and restorations are noisy and messy.
I hate commitment. It’s terrifying! Failure to keep a commitment devastates me, no matter how small. So, I shy away from it. I procrastinated all day about accepting author and writing coach Jeff Goins’s 30 day #My500Words writing challenge because I figured if I waited long enough, it would be too late to commit and then I couldn’t fail. One way to avoid failure is to not commit—just don’t take the risk. Right? Wrong.
The Bible admonishes us to count the cost, to consider if we are able to complete a task before we begin and to let our yea be yea and our nay be nay. We should have reverence for commitment, but there’s a difference between responsibly considering decisions and living in neutral. Neutral often slides into reverse motion
You can choose to live a reactive or proactive life. God calls us to action and faithful stewardship of our talents and abilities. Passivity is an action. We are responsible for the results of our indecision. We either pursue God and His call for our lives or neglect it. Inaction is an action; indecision is a decision. No risk, no gain. Guaranteed.
In an effort to feel more secure and protect myself from failure, I wrote my first 500 words before typing, “I’m in,” and accepting the challenge—at the last minute. So how did I do? I failed. I missed three days and many days I fell short of the 500 words, but on others, I exceeded it. There is a difference between failing at something and being a failure. Failing doesn’t necessarily identify you as a failure. It could just mean you tried and as Thomas Edison said, figured out many ways how not to do something, which is often the route to finally achieving a goal or overcoming an obstacle.
So, what really is the battle here? Am I afraid of commitment, or failure? Or am I just a control freak? The answer is yes. I like the sure thing. It’s not a risk if I know the outcome, can do it in my own strength, or don’t need a miracle. But if I stay in my comfort zone, I don’t need faith and if I don’t reach beyond my own abilities, I miss the chance to see God work with me, through me, and move on my behalf. My mess yielded to Jesus is a chance for God’s miracles. My obstacles are God’s opportunities.
I’m often hard on myself when I feel I’ve let myself, others, and most importantly, God, down. Even though I want and need input to grow, sometimes it’s hard to receive criticism from others because I’ve done such a good job of beating myself up. That’s an issue with Grace. God says in His Word that His mercies are new every morning.
Let your trials and failures refine you and let God define you.
Sometimes it’s the process of the struggle that builds the strength to accomplish the task. The only real failures are those who do nothing or quit at their calling. Sometimes what we think of as failure is God’s strength and endurance training, equipping us to help others. Sometimes that good thing for us is failure, or setback, or discipline, or faith stretched until the midnight hour—and then the victory. Pray; wait on God, and when He says it’s time to move—move.
When I depend on myself and my own abilities I fall short. The only sure thing is the Gospel. The only guarantee of success is to obey God and hitch our hearts, our hope, our destiny and eternity on Jesus. What matters is not my own or the world’s definition of success or failure, but God’s. God defines us by our identity with Him. I am His.
If God is asking you for something you can’t do then it’s God’s turn to do whatever it takes to accomplish His will and destiny for your life. — Pastor Chip Ganiear
And all that really matters is the will of God.
I’m going to fail sometimes. You’re going to fail sometimes. We will lose some battles, but I read the end of the story, and those who walk with Jesus win the war.