Failure Is An Option

Several years ago, I learned a valuable lesson about the influence that failure can have over an organization.  It all stemmed from a conversation I had with a group of skeptical members of one of my former churches.  

It seems that they were less than enthusiastic about the new worship service that we were planning to launch, particularly because it was not at all like the more traditional worship service they'd grown accustomed to over the years. 

"We tried that a few years ago," one of them told me.  "We tried that whole contemporary thing, and it just didn't work."  They said the words "contemporary thing" like they were trying to get a bad taste out of their mouth---which was pretty close to the truth. 

The fact of the matter was, the previous attempt to add a new kind of service was not well-executed, not really supported by the former pastor and pretty much doomed from the start.  But in the minds of the folks in front me... it had been a failure, and they didn't want to fail again.  

The old saying, "Failure is not an option," only applies to rare occasions that involve disabled space capsules, undersea exploration stations stalked by giant sharks or that moment when you find yourself about to drop some photon torpedos into the exhaust vent of a giant, evil space station.  

Failure is almost always an option when you are about to start something new, change your life, practice vulnerability, give a relationship a try, or simply do your best to follow Jesus.  

But what if we made the conscious decision that failure wasn't going to deter us from stepping into the new... living life to the fullest... opening up our hearts to others... starting a new business... changing your habits...?  What if we decided failure was option, and it didn't scare us... at all.  

Author and speaker Bob Goff once wrote:  
What if you decide in advance that failure isn't going to be a limiting factor in your life anymore?  Strip from the past the power you've given it over your future.  
We do give the wrong kind of power to our past failures when we allow them to keep us from truly living.  Fear of failure keeps so many of us from being the people that God longs for us to be.  It keeps us immobilized, withdrawn and small.  

Repeat after me:  "I will fail at something today."  Say that out loud.  Own it.  And then feel the power fall away from it.  Don't be limited by the failures you've experienced in your life.  Allow yourself to move past them, transcend them and include whatever lessons you need to include from them... 

But never let them define you, and keep you from being you.  

And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.  


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