The only things that are obvious, are things you already know. So, when you are facing a new challenge, it can seem daunting to the point of impossible when, in fact, you actually are equipped for the challenge and are going to succeed. And, once you have conquered, overcome, persisted, and achieved in a situation, the next time you face that same challenge it becomes as simple as 1-2-3. Been there. Done that. Got the T-Shirt.
It’s the new challenges and the old challenges you have avoided or have yet to overcome that make up the growing edges of your faith. And it is those growing edges of your faith that host the majority of the battles with the enemy in your spiritual life. Some things seem to come naturally. Some things take trial and error. Some things take practice, passion, persistence, and hard work. No matter what path you find yourself on today with your biggest challenges, it is important to realize that failure is not an end point. Failure is not the same as defeat unless you make it into permanent result. It’s like Mythbuster Adam Savage said, “Failure is always an option”. It’s not that failure is the desired outcome, or even that failure is an acceptable result. It’s that without failure many of your greatest successes, your most impressive accomplishments, and your proudest moments would never happen. Every failure is a result. Every mistake is an opportunity to learn. Every experience has both a positive and a negative lesson that could be derived from it depending on your perspective.
When Thomas Edison was working on creating an electric light bulb that could withstand forty hours of continuous operation (not quite as robust as today’s LED bulbs, eh?), he tried 1600 different materials before he happened upon carbonized bamboo, a material he eventually optimized to the point of creating bulbs that could give up to 1200 hours of continuous light before burning out. Now, whether or not Edison ever actually said the famous quip that he hadn’t failed 1600 times, he’d simply found 1600 ways NOT to make a light bulb, the truth of this statement is unarguable.
Every result. Every experience. Every interaction in life is an opportunity to learn, to grow, to develop, and to improve your perspective, your knowledge, and your abilities. No matter what the outcome is in the moment, every result in life can be a strengthening of your eternal character, an improvement of your eternal perspective, an elevation of your understanding, skill sets, abilities, and gifts.
The point is, you were not created just for a moment. You were not made to be temporary. You are a child of God. You were designed on purpose, for a purpose. And that purpose is more than the summary of your temporary set backs and failures. That purpose is more than the simple compilation of the facts and figures of your personal history. That purpose is the meaning of life that was breathed into you by your creator. It supersedes and overwhelms the lies, the obstacles, the mistakes, and the challenges that the enemy throws in your way and it drives for a higher goal.
God built you to be eternal. God made you as a permanent addition to His kingdom, a person of destiny who will have lasting impact not just for the few years that you walk this earth, but an everlasting impact in the relationships, the accomplishments, and the contributions that you make in the lives of the people that surround you — especially those who will find eternal life because you were there not just for the high points and the successes of their lives, but through the failures and defeats, finding the motivation to press on, move higher, and leverage your relationship with God into strength for the journey, food for the hungry, healing for the broken, love for the lost, and restoration for the defeated.
You were created with eternity in mind. You were built to last. Failure is only temporary. Defeat is not an option. If you are still breathing, still thinking, still living, you can accept your failures for what they are — steps along the road to success — and you can start leveraging those experiences into receiving the blessings that God has spoken over your life, the destiny that God has in store for you, and the eternal life and abundant success and prosperity that He has planned for you from the moment you were created.
2 thoughts on “Easy as 1-2-3”
Stephen – I really enjoyed this post. It was very timely given some things going on right now, and your blog helped me put all that into perspective. We are capable of accomplishing so much more in life if we really understand the upside of failure, as well as the undeniable fact that God is always working in every advance and setback we experience. Thank you!
So true: “Every interaction in life is an opportunity to learn, to grow, to develop, and to improve your perspective, your knowledge, and your abilities.” And I take full advantage of that opportunity by acknowledging the gratitude I have for the lesson learned, especially when the “interaction” was a circumstance that caused me emotional pain or sadness.