What to blog? What to blog? I know everyone is waiting with baited breath to hear what witty, insightful, and totally thought provoking things, I will have to say today, even though you all are NOT following me openly. I mean seriously, either the eight persons who are officially following me are so bored that they read my posts numerous times each day or there are have got to be a "few" more of you actually reading because my "counter" says I average between 500 and 600 hits a month that's about 20 a day. So............................
One of the blog's that I follow had a posting on failure today. As we have all experienced failure and at times felt like a complete failure (at least I have) it's an interesting concept to explore. I'm wondering; are you a failure if you've done your very best and nobody was willing to listen? That being the case most of the prophets in the Scriptures would be considered failures. Are you a failure if you begin to implement change and really good ideas but are unable to see it through? That would mean that many world leaders, who were considered to be great people would be considered failures. Consider Gandhi, the Dali Lama, John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr. What if you stood for right and implemented changes that were humane, decent and for the betterment of mankind , but these changes led to the bitterest and bloodiest of conflict. Consider Abraham Lincoln, was he a failure?
More often than not, we tend to consider ourselves failures because we don't get what we want, not necessarily what we have worked for or what we deserve. We think of ourselves as failures because of someone else's actions or inactions, like our children, our boss or theological leader. Often we think of ourselves as failures because we don't have as much as the next guy. Did you ever think that all of the cases I just mentioned might actually be signs of success?
We think we have failed because we can not motivate of manipulate our children to do something, but maybe we don't see that they also stand up to peer pressure to participate in the current over indulgences of their generation. We see ourselves as failures because our brother-in-law has a big house, fancy car, boat and a summer home compared to our small dwelling and once a year family camping trip, but we don't see the stress in his family due to the debt and pressure for him to constantly cheat, steal and lie (literally or figuratively) to maintain that lifestyle. We think that we are failures because our family might want or dream of someday having something that we can't give to them right now, but we don't see the strength that is built into each of them by waiting and working for "things" and the appreciation they have for them after "they" have attained a worthy goal. Even rejection from someone or of something we have worked long and hard on, can be an exercise in making ourselves or it better, hopefully not out of revenge or any kind of retribution but out of sincere desire to be better.
So, maybe some of our self declared failures are the same as our unheralded successes. I go on and on and on about how 'Life is not a competition". I believe this with all my heart. I think we waste too much time competing with the next guy, thinking that if we are better than him, we are a success of sorts. I think the only true success is to better ourselves today than we were yesterday. God does NOT grade on a curve. He doesn't average out all the "failures" and "successes" in the world and decide; "well this is the midpoint, so everyone from here on up has made it and those below this point down are doomed". Not for a minute, He looks at the individual. He looks deeper than the surface of the individual and into the heart of man. Our success or failure to Him is deeply personal, and I believe in his eyes most of us succeed.
Many people think I am too laid back and have no competitive spirit. Well if you could look into my heart you would see that is simply not true. I work hard to rein that nasty competitive spirit in and keep him in check. I work hard to only compete with myself and I fail at that a lot of times, but each time I do, I try a little harder.
I think it's so important to applaud (man, I love applause) the success, not matter how small, of our family, friends and acquaintances. Don't worry that they are getting ahead of you, don't worry that you might not have as much, think of how much more JOY you will have if you take joy in not only your own success but also the success of others. If you see someone do something that works great, be glad that now you know how to do something new and didn't have to go through all the trial and error. Oh, and also know that someone somewhere learned something from something you did that worked out well (even if you or they didn't know it).
Here are a few quotes I lifted from another blog:
I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.
Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts.
Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.
Thank you Rachelle Gardner for the quotes, the thoughts and the thought provoking.
One last quote:
I thank God for unanswered prayers.