In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal. John 12:25 (MSG)
Reckless In Your Love – The Failure Series – Part 1
Of all the few things I’m certain of, failure is one of them.
(You came here to be encouraged, right?! haha!).
Oh, how I have failed throughout my relatively short life. As I type, I’m remembering situations and people and words and events and projects where I miserably missed the mark. Some of these failures are somewhat laughable. A little blip on the pages of my past.
Others, though… cringe worthy (and if I was to be a little dramatic, some of my past failures still see me hugging my knees, in the corner, in the dark, rocking back and forth, and even sobbing… yep).
Failure is known to us all.
Yesterday, I wrote a devotion and deleted it straight away. Some of the work I’ve shared has never been read, and worse – has been read and not liked (thank God Instagram, and Facebook don’t have “dislike” buttons…).
Last week, someone applied for a job and didn’t get it. Someone else tried to say sorry and was turned away.
A few months ago, someone tried out for a part in a movie, someone else sent a manuscript to a publishing house, others emailed people they admired asking for help and never heard back; someone let down a friend, a loved one, a spouse; someone else tried to do something new, took a risk, stepped out in faith… and they failed.
Last year, we ran a Kickstarter campaign to raise money to build an Android App, and it failed.
No one is immune to it, no one can hide from it, and no one can put it off forever.
And if that's indeed the case, which it is, why do we have such a problem with failure? Why don’t we talk about it, share our stories, and encourage one another in it?
Failure and success are moments, events, seasons. They are not, or should not, inform our life’s narrative. They’re just a part of the story, not THE story.
Some of the things we think are failures, can turn into the most incredible gifts. For the disciples and friends of Jesus, his crucifixion was a most horrific and heartbreaking failure. He was supposed to lead them to victory. He was supposed to show them the “New Way.” He was supposed to redeem the nation of Israel and free them the political and social bondage of Rome, globally establishing them as God's chosen people among the nations.
But he failed, he died. And with that, their hopes seemed on the edge of failure, too.
John records Jesus as saying:
“Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal.” (John 12:24-25 MSG).
Suffering, humiliation, pain, failure… all these things have a unique and powerful way of transforming us. I dare even say, that it is through these experiences that the gold within us is formed, fashioned and found.
I’m certain of that, too.