Falling, Not IF, but WHEN…


“You don’t drown by falling in the water; you drown by staying there” – Edwin Louis Cole

“Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall” – Confucius

“Failure is not falling down but refusing to get up.” – Chinese Proverbs

“If you have made mistakes, there is always another chance for you. You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call ‘failure’ is not the falling down, but the staying down.” – Mary Pickford (Canadian born American Actress called America’s Sweetheart during the silent-film era. 1893-1979)

Falling down, making mistakes, getting it wrong, missing the mark……we’ve all done it. Thesaurus.com puts it this way:

Fail

Definition: to be unsuccessful

Synonyms: abort, back wrong horse, backslide, be defeated, be demoted, be found lacking, be in vain, be ruined, blunder, break down, come to naught, come to nothing, decline, deteriorate, fall, fall flat, fall short, fall through, fizzle, flop, flounder, fold, founder, go astray, go down swinging, go down, go downhill, go up in smoke, go wrong, hit bottom, hit the skids, lose control, lose out, lose status, meet with disaster, miscarry, miss, miss the boat, play into, run aground, slip, turn out badly

OUCH!! Unpleasant as it is to face, we will all experience these things over and over again as we walk the road of life. DOUBLE OUCH. This is not happy news. If left as the final word on it, this is downright bleak, discouraging, and somewhat depressing. What is the point of even trying if we are all doomed to eventual failure?

My dear friend and fellow traveler of life’s road, that is NOT all there is to it. Failure is not the end of the sentence; it is merely a comma.

What you did before and, more importantly, what you do AFTER your failures proves your character and determines your final destination more than anything else. Don’t rely only on the temporary circumstances that you face to determine your ultimate destiny and worth. The only people destined for failure were the ones never born. We can ALL rise above our temporary set backs and be the person we long to be. If you are a follower and lover of Christ, then the reason for this does not rest in our own worth or merit, but in the name of HIM to whom we belong. If you are not a follower of Christ, let me assure you that His love extends to everyone. Don’t let the failures and fears of other people turn you from the One who searches through the whole world until he finds the exact one He loves. He searches for YOU, my friend and He will never give up on you. Don’t you give up on yourself.

May the Lord answer you when you are in distress;
    may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.
May he send you help from the sanctuary
    and grant you support from Zion.
May he remember all your sacrifices
    and accept your burnt offerings.
May he give you the desire of your heart
    and make all your plans succeed.
May we shout for joy over your victory
    and lift up our banners in the name of our God.

May the Lord grant all your requests.

Now this I know:
    The Lord gives victory to his anointed.
He answers him from his heavenly sanctuary
    with the victorious power of his right hand.
Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
    but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.
They are brought to their knees and fall,
    but we rise up and stand firm.
Lord, give victory to the king!
    Answer us when we call!

Psalm 20

“The Way is Shut”


“Living is strife and torment, disappointment and love and sacrifice, golden sunsets and black storms. I said that some time ago, and today I do not think I would add one word.” Sir Laurence Olivier (English Actor, Producer and Film Director, 1907-1989)

What do we do when the road reaches a dead end? Where do we turn? How do we go on when disappointment after disappointment overshadows all our brightest hopes and dreams?

It can be so tempting to give up when we look failure in the face and see its empty eyes staring blankly. Sometimes we will fail, and that is the simple truth of it. Failure is as blind as justice, and just as impartial. Just as natural disasters strike people of all kinds and characters, failure, too, sits in all our paths eventually. Then our dreams seem so foolish. The pessimists seem to rule the day. Our hopes evaporate into the blank, still air. There we are, fallen on the pavement with our skinned hands and knees, bleeding, hurt, humiliated, and confused. What went wrong? How did this happen? Why can’t I win??

It is never a pleasant posture to be in when we find ourselves on our faces in the dirt, instead of soaring through the air like Icarus and Daedalus. Although, if you remember correctly, they had their own disappointments. They also found their faces in the dirt.

“Ones best success comes after their greatest disappointments.” Henry Ward Beecher (Liberal US Congregational minister, 1813-1887)

Sometimes, perhaps, it takes a failure to point us in the right direction. Every great inventor and innovator has dealt with numerous failures on the way to ultimate success. Maybe one reason for this is that every discovery lies somewhere outside the realm of the known. The direction is vague, if we have a direction at all. Sometimes, all we have is a fuzzy sense that there must be a better way, or better idea, or better life. When we fail, we are made aware of our limitations. If we know the problems, we can work to fix them, after all.

“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” Martin Luther King, Jr. (American Baptist Minister and Civil-Rights Leader. 1929-1968)

Many, if not all, of our world’s greatest and most inspiring figures have faced crippling failure and humiliating defeats on the way to ultimate victory. If we are able to look past the gravel embedded in our scraped hands and knees, we will see the powerful truth behind every failure we encounter. Failure should not send us running for cover. Every failure is a lesson. Experience may be a hard teacher, but it DOES teach us many things. Time spent on the ground can help us to clarify, for ourselves, if this goal is worth the fight. Every time we stand back up again, we grow stronger. Every time we stand back up again, we demonstrate our faith and perseverance. Some things, are simply worth the work.  

So, remember the next time you find yourself choking on dust and picking rocks out of your wounded pride, remember that this fight is not over yet! You are still here! You may not be standing yet, but you will stand at the last, no matter what.

 It is God who arms me with strength
    and keeps my way secure.
 He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;
    he causes me to stand on the heights.
 He trains my hands for battle;
    my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
 You make your saving help my shield,
    and your right hand sustains me;
    your help has made me great.
 You provide a broad path for my feet,
    so that my ankles do not give way. Psalm 18 : 32-36