Honorable image bearers learn that failure is a thing, it happens all the time, it is inevitable, and it is never as big a deal as it feels at the time. When we don’t figure this out, we struggle in relationships as we compare and compete. People who can embrace failure as a norm have the energy to devote to cooperating and encouraging others.
I was in a public place with a television blaring. A commentator, speaking of President Bush during one of the services eulogizing him said, “President Bush was willing to risk failure in pursuit of a higher good.”
I thought to myself - you missed the mark buddy. He FAILED. President Bush failed over and over and over again. That is the point. It’s easy to talk about risking failure - it sounds noble and brave. But it is far more accurate to say that Bush failed spectacularly many times. It was a strength; he had the ability to move through it and keep going with his remarkable optimistic attitude intact. I wonder. Is that why he had so many unlikely friendships with folks that many would have thought were his enemies?
Why do we act so surprised, so defensive, so mad when we fail to get our way or have things go as expected? What if we were better at failing? Would it improve our relationships? Would it change the need to end some relationships?
12 We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!
13 But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love. 1 Corinthians 13:12-13, The Message
What might change if we radically adopted failure as an expectation? What if we saw it as a normal part of accepting life on life’s terms? What if failure didn’t feel so personal?