Thought for the Week 23/11/20
“Try. Fail. Try Again.”
Who wants to fail?
From driving tests to school exams, none of us want to fail. We carry this fear of failure into our lives and into our faith. This strange season is an ideal opportunity to explore with God what it is we can really do with the lives God has given us.
Fear can stop us from exploring the gifts and abilities God has placed into our hands. We fear getting it wrong.
So much do we fear failure, that we can end up living a life when we only ever do what we know we can do.
What if God is asking you to do what you don’t know you can do? What if God is asking you to risk failing?
There’s a book called Art and Fear which shows how failure is linked to learning. A pottery teacher divided their class into 2 groups. One group would be assessed on the quantity of their work. The more they made – the better the grade. The other group would be marked on the quality of their work. They were to make just one pot of the highest quality.
Who do you think produced the best pots?
Surprisingly, the highest quality pots were turned out by the quantity group. While the quality group were making pot after pot they were learning from their mistakes. As they went on, they got better and better. In contrast the quality group sat around trying to work out how best to go about making their prefect pot. They never got any better.
Trying and failing, learning from failure, and trying again led to better pots.
What about in life?
Try. Fail. Try again.
It’s a model Jesus used when it came to teaching his disciples. Given the importance of the task one might have thought that the disciples had gone to the University of Jerusalem.
Given the importance of the task one would have thought that the disciples at least went to the College of Galilee.
Open University? Online learning? Google?
No. No. And No again.
When it came to learning Jesus liked his disciples to try. And when they failed, to try again.
Look at Peter. Peter was quick to try and often got it wrong. But Jesus did not give up on Peter.
And Jesus will not give up on us either.
Our failures have the potential to teach us great things. Maybe our fear isn’t failure – but rather the discipline of being discipled.
Peter would later compare discipleship to a building project writing: “you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 2: 5)
Try. Fail. Try again.
Sometimes the only way to find out what God has made you to do, it to give something a try.
Is there something God could be calling you to try?