13 Apr Facing Failures Graciously
Australian cricket team are known as the worst loser. They will do anything to win a cricket match. Sledging , cheating, putting pressure on umpires, playing out of their skin- on the verge of losing they will pull up every trick under the hat. Ask an Australian cricketer and he will say, we don’t like losing, we were trained to win – a debatable philosophy on field.
But off the field, in life’s race, failures are inevitable. Failures will come and will test what metal we are made of. Our response to failures determines our Character. There are well known quotes like:
-Failures are stepping stones to success.
-No great success was ever achieved without failure: Thomas Alva Edison made 10,000 attempts to create a light bulb, etc.
But no other quote is more powerful than this one “the mother of all truths” . . .
It goes like this Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”
Meditate on the depth in this verse. Someone asked “What is more important than one’s life”. The other replied, “the cause for which one lives”.
Failures have a purpose, but that can only be seen from the eyes of God. You and I may not have a podium finish all the time in life, but then faced with failures you can trust God to write your ending. Always have God write the ending for every situation in life. We tend to worry about the battle at hand, but God looks at winning the final war. So its important to not see temporary momentary losses but to look towards permanent everlasting gains. Lose the battle (may be Yes), but win the war, (oh yeah hallelujah!)
I am reminded of Sir Winston Churchill’s writting about the final years of the 2nd world war. The overriding impression I received as I read it was that the allies knew exactly when they were going to win the war. And although it didn’t always go according to plan the fact was that they had a plan – and would make adjustments to the plan as they went. Churchill, along with the American and Russian leaders that worked closely with him, knew when Hitler’s and the Japanese nation’s demise were going to happen. And they then continued to work towards the fulfilment of that plan. They never considered the possibility of a defeat. It was a detailed and well executed plan that we can now read in the history books.
And life is very much like that. I know for a fact that throughout my lifetime there are innumerable battles that I have lost – but my concentration is not on the battles. I want to make sure that I position myself with God (Joshua 5:13-14) so that at the end of my life God will be able to clearly declare – and it will be proved by the legacy that I leave behind – that I have in fact won the war.
May we ever be ready to face failures by the grace of God, for only God knows what He is about.
When God wants to drill a man
And thrill a man and skill a man
When God wants to mould a man
To play the noblest part
When he yearns with all his heart to create
So great and bold a man
That all the world shall be amazed
Watch his methods watch his ways
How he ruthlessly perfects
Whom He royally elects
How he hammers him and hurts him
And with mighty blows
Converts him into trial shapes of clay
Which only God understands
While his tortured heart is crying
And he lifts beseeching hands
How he bends but never breaks
When his good he undertakes
How he uses whom he chooses
And which every purpose fuses him
By every act induces him to try his splendour out
God knows what he’s about!
Binu Thomas Joseph, a Software Quality Analyist resigned his job and serves as staff worker with UESI Odisha along with his wife Deena in Bhubaneswar