“Success is not final, failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.”
~ Winston Churchill
Failure is only fatal when we allow ourselves to become immobilized and no longer do what we can to improve or to correct our failings. Success should never be final either because we live in a world that constantly changes. If we accept our success and lock ourselves in to that mode, we will stagnate. Both in successes and failures, we need to look ahead, to muster up the strength that we need, and to move into our future.
I have seen too many people throughout my life — friends, classmates, contemporaries, and parishioners — who have become stuck in ruts of their own making. They either achieved a goal or failed once too many times. Either way, they remained fixed on where they were and no longer looked toward or moved toward a different future.
God did not make us, did not make anything for that matter, to remain exactly the same. We constantly change. The cells in our bodies are oriented toward change. Generally, they change for the better. They lead us from infancy to childhood to adolescence and to maturity. Sooner or later, they change for the worse. They lead us to old age and death. Yet, through the entire process, we can view what is coming next and prepare ourselves for it, jumping in to it, and moving through it. That is the way of life.
My aunt is a great example of that. I had a conversation with her last night. She has been fighting cancers for many years now and is coming to the end of her life. She was telling me that she showed her hospice nurse the clothing that she picked out for her funeral. As she spoke to the nurse, and later to me, she spoke with confidence and joy. This failure of her body is not something she laments. She sees it as the passing away of one thing and the beginning of another grand adventure. Her attitude surprises many people; but, it is a very refreshing one.
We can lament our position, our health, our job, our family, our way of life, or any number of other states of life. Or, we can move through them to the next reality, the next adventure.
FAITH ACTION: If you have allowed yourself to become immobilized because of failures either recent or remote, ask God to give you the courage to move on.