March 29, 2012
It is okay to fail. In fact most of us should be failing more. Failure proves that we are trying new things. If we are waiting for the situation to be perfect before we embark on a new journey, occupation, or trial we will wait forever. Think of the young couple waiting for the right job or house to get married or have a baby. They could waste years and find that much of life has slipped away and they never got the things they really wanted. Parents got sick or a job opportunity disappeared or any number of other things occurred that made it not “the right time”.
Yet if we step out with the confidence of the people of God we can be assured that not only can we achieve miraculous things with the power of the Holy Spirit, but even those things which do not transpire as we had hoped are not life-ending sorts of failures. The great thing about failing is the more we do it, the easier it becomes. The risk does not seem so great. Instead of fearing our one great failure, we can have lots of failures that were just steps in the journey towards achieving all the truly miraculous things that God had set out for us. Harken back to Thomas Edison who tried so many times to develop a light bulb and said, “If I find 10,000 ways something won’t work, I haven’t failed. I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward”.
Stepping forward is really what God wants all of us to be doing. That is the way that the Kingdom of God is built. When we remain stifled by fear we are really paralyzed from achieving anything. The first yoga class I ever took was when I was living in Saskatchewan and the teacher was an old school Yoga Nazi. Hold it long, hold it perfect, there is no pain. Yoga has softened so much in the almost twenty years since then. Now we are encouraged to try, to fail, to try again. Step back, then ease in. In life, as in yoga, we are not always going to get solid footing the first time. We will not always find the perfect center of balance. But with encouragement and nudging and persistence we can achieve what would have seemed impossible before. Sometimes we need to fail. A good failure allows us to learn and to grow, sometimes more than a success. We just need to have enough faith to understand that fail or succeed, God is with us. If our deepest desire is to serve God, nothing we do will ever really be a failure. And certainly we will never be a failure, just a person who fails – like every other human.