Sometimes, when things haven’t been going your way, you look around and say, “Why did God put 15-20 scalawags in a huge old church that holds 500 people?” There is water damage, pigeon problems, and we don’t even have heat up here for Pete’s sake! Oh wait, that’s not you, that’s me. And, on top of all that, we couldn’t fill these seats if we tried! Ugh.
After pondering this for a few minutes, I find myself saying, “This kinda looks like Failure.” You know FAILURE, when you set out to do something and it just didn’t work or flopped or came to a screeching halt. If you don’t know what I am talking about or have yet to find the grand beauty found in “taking a digger,” as we Yoopers call it, then just sit back and let me explain a little.
Whether you are just living life or, especially, when you are pursuing ministry or growing as a Christian, failure becomes blatantly obvious as something God uses for shaping and molding us into the men and women He desires…utterly dependent on Him. Here’s a few examples from my own life:
Those who know me, know that I am one that plays to win…not just to NOT lose. Progressive. Aggressive. No holding back. No turning back. Well, newsflash, there is a lot a failing going on in this man’s life with this kind of attitude. Went to college to hopefully run cross country–fail. Wanted to be a semi-pro mountain bike racer, got saved, gave it up and failed. Eight relationships in college, eight catastrophic failures in a row, even though I almost got engaged twice. Then I went into ministry to open up a coffee shop, our family fell apart, church crumbled, and then…down the road, it actually flew. Weird. But, during that time, there many other failures. Like a jewelry business that did ok and then failed. And a music shop–serious fail. Business + money + me = fail. And even as a fruitful ministry blossomed for almost a year in Marquette with many kids getting excited about the Lord, the Bible and worship…Spirit-quenching fear-mongers shot it down and it thus, failed. And, lest we forget, many of you knew the amazing stories of our bus and our travels with amazing fruit and growth and then, and THEN…it broke down four times straight, sucked us dry of all our money and–you guessed it–FAILED! Fail, fail, fail, fail, fail…FAIL.
So maybe I made my point. But, did you catch it?! In there, buried in fleshly sarcasm, were some shining stars of victory with the Lord. We have learned to get our car repossessed or pray in food or borrow a friend’s washer and dryer–all for eventual victory, not failure. The thing that I and we hang on immensely, is the simple stroke of the vision of the Lord moving. God has reminded us and shown us sweet glimpses time and time again–He WILL bringing harvest and Revival. And, like many great business men and leaders through history have found, sometimes you have to try and fail and fail and try and get up and try again and again and AGAIN! And then, inexplicably, the Lord brings things together and you make a million bucks or affect a million lives…. And I want to affect a million lives and maybe even see a ministry that brings in a million bucks! All for the Lord…all for glory…all for the Kingdom.
Call me crazy, but I want victory enough to learn how to fail.
“A righteous man falls seven times, and rises up again.”–Proverbs 24:16
Christian! Go out. Fall. Get back up. Fail. And then KEEP GOING! For we know that: On Christ the Solid Rock we stand….