Thursday, May 13, 2010

Afraid to Fail?

I've been reading The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning. It's one of those books I usually read a chapter at a time b/c there is just so much info to soak in. I'd love to just read and read but then I feel that I'm robbing myself of the quality of the book.

Anyway, I was talking with someone special yesterday and they mentioned to me that they feel as if they had failed. Of course we all fail, but that doesn't take away the raw emotion that drapes on you.

While I was reading this book, just now, I ran across this. So .. this is for you. I love you.

Many of us are haunted by our failure to have done with our lives what we longed to accomplish. The disparity between our ideal self and our real self, the grim specter of past infidelities, the awareness that I am not living what I believe, the relentless pressure of conformity, and the nostalgia for lost innocence reinforces a nagging sense of existential guilt: I have failed. This is the cross we never expected and the one we find hardest to bear.

One morning at prayer, I heard this word: Little brother, I witnessed a Peter who claimed that he did not know Me, a James who wanted power in return for service to the kingdom, a Philip who failed to see the Father in Me, and scores of disciples who were convinced I was finished on Calvary. The New Testament has many examples of men and women who started out well and then faltered along the way. Yet on Easter night I appeared to Peter. James is not remembered for his ambition but for the sacrifice of his life for Me. Philip did see the Father in Me when I pointed the way, and the disciples who despaired had enough courage to recognize Me when we broke bread at the end of the road to Emmaus. My point, is this: I expect more failure from you than you expect from yourself.

The ragamuffin who sees his life as a voyage of discovery and runs the risk of failure has a better feel for faithfulness than the timid man who hides behind the law and never finds out who he is at all. Winston Churchill said it well: "Success is never final; failure is never fatal. It is courage that counts."

Yes, the word was made flesh. I chose to enter your broken world and limp through life with you.

On the last day, when we arrive at the Great Cabin in the Sky, many of us will be bloodied, battered, bruised and limping. But by God and by Christ, there will be a light in the window and a "Welcome Home" sign on the door.