HAPPY NEW YEAR!! HELLO, 2023!!
U.S. President and “Rough Rider” Teddy Roosevelt once stated, “There is no effort without error or shortcoming”! This is one of the great, unchangeable facts of Life. Furthermore, if you’re making mistakes — if you frequently stumble and fall — then you’re probably on the right track, trying new things, aiming for higher goals. Failure is no fun, but it’s usually the first step to achieving something worthwhile. We know this truth. Deep down, YOU also probably know this. And God certainly knows it! Which is why He encourages us to keep on trying, to keep on fighting the good fight of faith. When we fail, He admonishes us to get up.
Elvis Presley was fired from the Grand Ole Opry in 1954, after giving one performance. The house manager told Elvis, “You ain’t goin’ nowhere, son. You ought to go back to drivin’ a truck.”
Before he succeeded, Henry Ford, the founder of the Ford Motor Company, failed and went broke five times! And R. H. Macy failed seven times before his New York City department store caught on.
Fred Smith turned in a college paper about his concept for a reliable overnight delivery service. His Yale professor gave the paper a “C” and told him, “…Your concept is interesting and well formed, but … your ideas also have to be feasible.” Smith went on to found Federal Express.
Throughout his life Thomas Alva Edison, “the Wizard of Menlo Park,” was a glorious “failure”! As a child, his teachers sent him home one day, stating the boy is “too stupid to learn anything.” As a young adult, Edison seemed to be proving his teachers right. He was fired from his first two jobs for being “non-productive.” Can this possibly be the same tireless American inventor who held 1,093 U.S. patents in his name? Yes. What set Edison apart was his determination. He refused to quit, and he viewed every failure as taking a step closer to succeeding. Which is why Edison continued to “fail”!
Although Edison did NOT invent the light bulb, he did invent a way to make the idea feasible. The bulbs of previous inventors were bulky, expensive, and consumed too much power. Edison wanted to produce an economical, more energy efficient bulb using low-cost materials. He tried a thousand different material combinations, which all failed, before finding the right one. When a reporter asked him, “How did it feel to fail 1,000 times?” Edison replied, “I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.”
Failure is the foundation upon which we build success. Nehemiah 13:2 is one of several scriptures that demonstrate how God is able to turn every curse into a blessing. Also, “…God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.” (Romans 8:28 NLT)
We crawl before we walk. We walk before we run. We learn by doing, and we learn our best lessons from our mistakes. Yes, we’d always prefer to get it right the first time, but our failures are NOT the end of the line, they are stepping stones on the path to success — unless we stop trying. Please don’t. Edison once stated, “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
And if you don’t occasionally fail, then you’re probably not continuing to raise the bar on what you can accomplish. So keep on slugging. “Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life….” (Timothy 6:12 NASB)