Failing

Breaking RopeThings 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?

This entry was posted in A Personal relationship with God, Devotions and Reflections, Hope, Learning from Jesus, Life Challenges, looking in the right direction and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Failing

  1. Margaret Aeschlimann says:

    Your blog is only too true. I was a super achiever at school, maybe partly because my dad discovered if he gave me a challenge I’d rise to it, so he offered me money if I topped the class – so I did. In every subject except art! Then I got to form 5 and 6, where the work was harder, and I failed the only subject I really wanted to pass to get into nursing – Biology. I still got in as I only needed Leaving certificate at that stage. But, like you I failed quite regularly throughout my life. I succeeded lots too. That’s just life, and it’s not who you are or what you do that counts, but Who God is in your life. He gives us success because He succeeded at what He came to do – die so we can live. He looked as if He was a failure as He hung on that cross, but He triumphed there.

  2. Lyn says:

    Ten out of ten, Marg! Go to the top of the class!

    I think Jesus just got on with his life, succeeding and not worrying if people thought he’d failed. That’s where I, and I guess many others, sometimes slip up. I worry about what others think of me.

    Now that’s an idea for another post, eh?

  3. Ruth says:

    Interesting! I think that Jesus was successful because he did all the things he was meant to do – that God planned. But what about when he was a child? Maybe he was not good at everything. Maybe he forgot to do something his Mother asked him too? Sometimes our failures are because we choose to do something that is not right for us. Other times it is a good learning experience that helps us get to where we need to be. At least I managed to pass Yr.11 Chemistry…lol! Wish I hadn’t chosen it though!

    • Lyn says:

      Your comment is very thought-provoking, Ruth. It made me wonder if my definition of failing might be skewed…just a little!
      Perhaps God sees it differently. (What’s new?!) If we think of succeeding versus failing, and we do something we weren’t meant to, or we’re not gifted in, then that mightn’t be failing. How far can we go with that line of thinking? I must ponder on that.

  4. Jacqui Conlon says:

    I wonder if failure is more about helping us to grow more like Jesus. Failure helps us discover our shortcomings, bad attitudes and such like. It helps to keep us humble, and to understand others when they fail.
    Very thought provoking, as are all your blogs. You’ve learnt the art of listening, observing and reflecting on life. I love the way you put your thoughts, helping those of us who rush through life to stop and stare for a bit.

    • Lyn says:

      I tend to agree, Jacqui. It’s necessary for us to learn from our failures, while Jesus learnt obedience through suffering.
      Thank you for your kind comments. I do appreciate them…and you.
      Writing a blog post is perfect for me because I always want to record what I see and tell someone!

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