Sometimes You Just Can't Fail
"And now I say to you, keep away from these men and let them alone; for if this plan or this work is of men, it will come to nothing; but if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it —lest you even be found to fight against God."-Acts 5:38-39
I have spent a large portion of my life talking myself out of doing the things I felt led to do, the things I am gifted in, or the things that just seemed scary to me. I learned growing up that failure is not an option, trusting in yourself or others can be scary if not dangerous. And so I've often chosen the safe path, the way of least resistance, regardless of whether it was the right way to go.
As I begin to learn to trust my gut response to things, to validate my personal needs and desires, to embrace my passions as being acceptable, I'm spending lots of time going back and forth between believing I can try something and reverting to the old broken message:
“If you fail, you'll never live this down!”
In fact, over the weekend, I landed smack dab in the middle of one of those old mindset places. My husband asked if I would boil some eggs so we could color them for Easter. I have NEVER, let me repeat that...NEVER hard-boiled eggs on my own before. But I determined not to be taunted by my lack of experience. I broke out my faithful Betty Crocker Cookbook and looked up the instructions for hard boiling eggs. Armed with Betty's trust directions, I could not possibly go wrong!
So I hard-boiled the eggs by the directions to a “T”. But later, just before dinner, my husband cracked open an egg and took a bite. The yolk was only moderately cooked—more than soft-boiled but not exactly hard-boiled either. And I was devastated by this turn of events. Immediately, the old message played in my head:
“For someone so smart, that was really stupid.”
I immediately was aware of my all-or-nothing thinking regarding my cooking mishap, and corrected myself. The eggs were cooked enough to eat safely. I had done exactly what the directions instructed me to do. This was not a disaster.
It sounds so silly to talk about hard-boiling eggs and my disastrous all-or-nothing thinking, but the truth is that this same broken thought process often tries to keep me from doing what God has called me to do. I cower in fear of messing up what God wants me to do. I distrust my spiritual gifts and anointing. Like Gamaliel pointed out in Acts 5:
"...but if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it—lest you even be found to fight against God." (v.39)
When it comes to God's calling and anointing, even my human erring and dysfunction cannot destroy it unless I refuse to be open to His will. What a relief that is!
Oh, and by the way, I'm slowly but surely finding it's easier to try and land short of the goal without beating myself up. In fact, sometimes I choose to fail when I know it's safe to do so just to prove a point to myself. Very little in this world is truly all-or-nothing!
Father, thank you for continuing to stand beside me, holding me gently in your arms as I learn that I don't have to be perfect. Remind me that striving to do your will is the most noble thing I can seek, and with your help, I'll never have to fear failure or perfection. In Jesus' name, Amen.