Sunday, April 24, 2011

Failure - Stay or Grow Forward?

I was reading John Ortberg's book, If You Want to Walk on Water, You've Got to Get Out of the Boat, for the fifth or sixth time and realized that "failure" is okay. It provides me a choice - I can stay where I am, dreaming of what I could do or be, or I could learn and grow forward.

I have been stuck in a comfort zone for four years. The first two were necessary because I was so burned out from working in the retail industry for 24 years where no matter how hard you try, if you don't achieve the goals set before you, you are not good enough. During that time period, I watched a lot of dreams die, so by the end of those years I had nothing left to give. So I rested and got comfortable. Now, it is time to step out in faith again in my business/ministry, relationships and other areas of my life. I have stepped out in faith before, but things didn't turn out the way I had planned which equals failure in the eyes of many. What Ortberg teaches about failure is that it does not shape us; it is how we respond to it that shapes us (p. 24). This means that when life and plans don't work out, I can choose to give up or I can choose to feel disappointment, hurt and frustration, learn from what didn't work, celebrate what did and grow forward.

Today we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who has given us new life, freedom from unbelief, fear of public humiliation and stuck-itis. Will I choose to follow Him and receive the more He has for me or will I choose to stay safe? I want to be free and experience the joy that comes with living His life for me instead of living in the fear of failure.

Lord, help me nail my shame and fear to the Cross of Christ and leave it there! Move me to step out in faith and if bridges have to be burned or the boat has to sink leaving me no choice but to move forward, so be it. Strengthen me. Help me keep my eyes on You. Help me be who You created me to be for Your glory and honor. In Jesus' name, Amen.