Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Failure

Life is so full of risks. It seems that most of our lives are spent in risk management mode. Sometimes I wonder why that is, although most of the time it makes sense. Honestly, I don't like to get hurt. I don't like to fail. So I try and manage the risks to the best of my ability so that I don't get hurt in any way. Still, sometimes that seems a little silly. You can lock yourself in the house to try and avoid risk, but then they say most accidents happen in the home and most traffic accidents happen within a couple of miles of home. Heck, I recently read somewhere that something like 1,000 people each year are seriously injured from getting caught in the cord for their curtains. Nowhere, it seems, is REALLY safe. So why not step out and take a risk, take a chance. If you don't give it a shot you can't succeed. What's the worse that will happen? Failure?

I was reading this morning from John Ortberg's book "If You Want to Walk on Water, You've Got to Get Out of the Boat." In there I came across the following quote:

"Failure is not an event, but rather a judgment about an event. Failure is not something that happens to us or a label we attach to things. It is a way we think about outcome."

He then goes on to talk about Jonas Salk not failing, but finding 200 ways how not to vaccinate for polio. He talks about Churchill not failing a grade, but being given a second change. You see failure is more about perception. If something doesn't turn out the way we had hoped is it a failure? If we judge it so, but that doesn't have to be a case.

How might our lives be different if we approached success and failure in this sort of way? I can't imagine God judges us as failures when things don't turn out as we had hoped or expected. Why should you?

1 comment:

Cabbie said...

Thank you for this post. It has changed my outlook on failure.
~Always~