20 Nov

“I thank God for my failures.  Maybe not at the time but after some reflection.  I never feel like a failure just because something I tried has failed.”  ~ Dolly Parton

Failure, for most people, is frightening.  We label ourselves — wrongly so, I might add — by our successes and our failures.  But just because we succeed in something doesn’t make us a success.  Likewise, just because we fail in something doesn’t make us a failure.  A success can lead us down a wrong road and we can find ourselves in big trouble.  A failure can be a huge learning experience that helps us in the long run.

Parton has probably had more than her fair share of failures.  That is because she was never afraid to strike out in directions unknown.  She was willing to take risks in doing things that were new.  Not all of them panned out; but, all of them gave her great experience upon which to build.

When we fear failure and do our best to avoid any possibility of failure, we are actually doing ourselves a great disservice.  Now I’m not saying that we should do everything that we can to fail.  That would be absolutely absurd.  However, it is just as absurd to avoid doing anything because we fear to fail.  Change and progress sometime incur failure because of the inherent nature of attempting to do things that are relatively unknown to us.

We could spend our entire lives sheltered and never make any progress.  I would think, at the end of our days, that the Lord would take a rather dim view of that.  He would ask us why we buried the talents that He gave to us.  Fear of failure will not be an acceptable answer as I believe Jesus indicated in a parable or two.

Don’t let fear immobilize you.  Don’t let the possibility of failure keep you from making attempts.  Instead, ask the Lord for help, do your best, and, if you fail, learn from the experience.

FAITH ACTION:  Don’t be afraid to try.  God will bless your efforts even if you fail.