The Souls That Fail
“And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers” (Luke 22:29)
History is unrepeatable, historians say, but it can be re-lived many times in one's memory. Our successes we like to savor; our failures we'd rather forget. I'm learning, however, to cherish the days that I fail.
I'm learning that blunders, mistakes and missed opportunities are means of grace and great blessing if I accept them as part of my call. "It came as a revelation. It was worth the price of the gale: To know that the souls that conquer must at first be the souls that fail” (George Matheson).
Through humiliation our strength is baffled, we're disabused of our illusions of grandeur and brought low. There, we learn to meet with the lowly. We’re able to get in touch with other people’s feelings. We can empathize with those that have fallen; we can accept and love them as no other can.
But we must let go of regret. Brooding over past failure intimidates us and turns us away from love; feelings of inadequacy overwhelm and isolate us. We're afraid to venture ourselves again. But when we accept our failures as simple proof that we're utterly inadequate, God's strength is made perfect in our weakness. We have grace to turn outward to others and to do so with greater compassion, wisdom and sensitivity. Thus our mistakes are turned into good.
Failure is not ruinous; we are called to failure and owe much to each day that we fail. The lessons that we learn there "are worth the price of the gale."