Consult Not Your Fears

17 Jul

“Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do.”  ~ St. Pope John XXIII

One of the weaknesses of our human nature is the fact that we tend to focus upon failure rather than success.  Perhaps this is something hardwired into our brains as some kind of survival mechanism.  After all, if a person plunged his hand into a fire and learned that fire was hot and could burn, that person would not be so prone to put his hand into a fire again.  The “failure” was important to remember so that an injury could not be repeated.

Because of this, whenever we fail, we have this tendency inside of us to say, “I’ll never do that again.”  But if we never attempt something again, we will never succeed with anything.  We will live in perpetual fear and anxiety.  Samuel Beckett addressed the need to strike out again when he wrote, “Ever tried? Ever failed? No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail Better.”

In order to try again, though, we have to shift our attitude.  If we focus upon the failure, we might not summon the nerve to try or the resolve to continue.  If, on the other hand, we find a different focus for ourselves, all will be well.  St. Pope John XXIII recommended just that when he wrote, “Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams.”

Fears and failures can imprison us into a physical or spiritual immobility.  Hopes and dreams, on the other hand?  Why, they can free the mind and soul and help us to accomplish great and wonderful things.

What better hope does any one of us have to face the darkness of this world and the evil in this world than to remember the promise of immortality won for us in Jesus Christ?  He gives us a hope that is unconquerable.  He gives us a hope that is eternal.  He gives us a hope that can help us rise from our falls — no matter how many they may be — and to try again.

FAITH ACTION:  If you have given up on something because you had failed in it, ask God for the grace to try again focusing on the good that could come about rather than on the initial failure.