The Museum of Failure
The Museum of Failure, which is located in Helsingborg, Sweden, is easily one of the most interesting museums in the world. According to its website, the Museum is "...a collection of failed products and services from around the world."
Since the majority of inventions and attempts at innovative projects fail, the museum was created to showcase these failures and "to provide visitors a fascinating learning experience."
Dr. Samuel West, the creator, and curator of the museum claims that he came up with the idea for the museum because he was "... so tired of reading and hearing the same boring success stories..." West goes on to say, "It is in the failures that we find the interesting stories that we can learn from."
As I was reading about the Museum of Failure, I got to thinking about how I've created my own museum dedicated to my failures.
While it exists only in my mind, my museum is fairly large--at least a few stories tall--and contains some spectacular exhibits that detail all of the times I've fallen flat on my face throughout my life. Admission to my museum is free (to me, of course) and it's open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Any time I want to be reminded of all the ways I have screwed up, messed up, made mistakes, and generally failed miserably, I just need to go through the revolving doors of my Museum of Failure and begin strolling through it.
And I don't need an audio guide, by the way.
The problem with my museum is that I tend to view the exhibits through a shame-tinged lens. I beat myself up over my failings. I tell myself stories about myself that aren't all that flattering, and sometimes downright awful.
This is exactly why I love what Dr. West has done with the actual Museum of Failure... He has re-framed the notion of failure as something to be celebrated for it's instructive and helpful nature.
I believe that God is not at all interested in having us stand in front of the memory of our failures so we can feel beaten and broken. The God I believe is only interested in us seeing those failures as signs of growth and opportunities for resurrection.
Beloved, God is still in the resurrection business, and business is good.
So, as you take a stroll through your own particular museum of failures, take heart and be encouraged because you have learned more falling flat on your face than you can possibly know. The fact that you can rise and keep moving in spite of your failures is evidence that God isn't done with you--not by a long shot.
May the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.