Things fail: machinery grinds to a halt, businesses go under, a river ceases to flow, ropes wear thin. People also fail, not coming up to expectations or reaching their full potential. Neither keeping on, nor producing; not living! With failure comes disappointment, especially if we’ve had high hopes of success.
We all know how it feels to fail. Paradoxically, without failure I don’t think we can appreciate what it’s like to succeed, to truly live!
At school, I always tried hard to pass tests and examinations, and I usually did! But there was a time when I couldn’t quite manage it! I’m not good at mathematics and science. In Year 11, I purposely chose to do biology instead of physics because I found it easier. And as for chemistry, if I made an extra effort, perhaps I might be able to pass.
Well, I failed the first chemistry exam but there were two more to come, so I still had an opportunity to improve. I studied hard for the second and I passed…just! I knew I’d have to excel in the last one, so I gave it everything I had. But it wasn’t enough; I failed dismally. On average, my overall marks were too low to make the grade. It was the first time I’d failed a subject in any school year. What a blow to my record!! At sixteen years of age, I didn’t know that I’d fail many more times in my life.
As the years passed, no matter how hard I tried in some endeavours, or how much extra care I took, it didn’t make much difference, I often fell short. At times I thought I was succeeding, but looking back, I now see that I was deluded. I depended on my own ‘abilities’ and didn’t see that there was a better way to do everything. Many times I dared not hope for success in case my expectations were dashed. I was only half-living, just in case I couldn’t cope with the disappointment of failure.
Hope is one of the three necessities for life: the things that endure forever. Hope keeps us going, gives us a goal and a direction for everything we do. It’s like a map for us to follow. Hope will keep us from despair and show us where to find assistance. There’s only one person who never failed. His name is Jesus. He never lost a battle, never made a wrong choice or lacked the knowledge to provide the correct answer!
So, I wondered, how did he appreciate success if he didn’t know failure? Was this a part of life that he never shared with us? Was I wrong in thinking we have to experience failure so we can understand what it’s like to really live?
I’d love to know what you think?