Get Back Up

4 Nov

“If you have made mistakes, there is always another chance for you. You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call ‘failure’ is not the falling down, but the staying down.”  ~ Mary Pickford

“I’m a failure, Father.”  Do you know the expression, If I got a dollar each time I heard that, I could retire early?  There are many times that I have heard people label themselves failures throughout the years.  Sometimes it was because of failing grades, sometimes because of a lost job or a myriad of other reasons.  Each time, the so-called “failure” was only some kind of ending.

Yet, in most of those moments, the people were not really failures because they were already citing the things that they were going to do to right whatever happened or to begin again.  They had plans and were ready to execute those plans.  Gladys Louise Smith, known in her profession as Mary Pickford, had a series of things happen in her life that could have labeled her and her family as failures.  From her father’s death to their household being quarantined to a whole host of two-bit roles, her life was in shambles.

But, she did not quit.  She ended up with a series of hits and associated honors as well as much fame and fortune.  She knew that a failure was only someone who quit trying.  Her continued attempts gained her not failure but success.

In our own spiritual lives, there are many people who fail because they give up.  They say that they are going to pray extra each day but cannot seem to make the time for it and give up or say that they are going to volunteer in ministries but cannot seem to hack it and quit going.  Their failure is not in bad attempts.  Their failure is in quitting to attempt.

When it comes down to it, none of us are good enough for ministry.  None of us are good enough for a richer prayer life.  None of us are good enough to live the faith valiantly.  That is where another old saying comes in:  “God does not call the qualified.  He qualifies the called.”

If you want to be better in your faith life, try.  God will accept your attempts, bless them, and change you for the better.  Do not make it something that is up to you.  Let it be up to God.  Just “show up” and let God do the rest.

FAITH ACTION:  Is there something that you have given up attempting to do in your faith life?  Make the commitment to try again.  Do you know someone else who has given up?  Encourage them to renew their resolution to improve.


One Reply to “Get Back Up”

  1. Dear Fr. Mike:

    There are so many mornings when I arise by God’s mercy and I begin my quiet time and read your reflection for the day. If I commented on every time that the Holy Spirit ministered to me through your reflections, I would be writing to you daily. Thanks for being the conduit of so many spiritual thoughts and comments. Today you used a little nugget that I have heard for more than 40 years now. “God does not call the qualified but God does qualify the called.”
    It can be said several ways, but it is an encouragement from God, through you, that God can use any of His choosing for His glory. I appreciate you, I learn from you and I am thankful to God for you.

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