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The Failure Option

Spring '21

You’re gonna get bucked. Just don’t stay bucked.

You have heard it said that “Failure is not an option.” Jesus might have responded to that statement this way, “Verily, verily I say to you … That’s a lie!”

Does it mean that you’ll never fail? Absolutely not! Does it mean you stay in that moment of failure? Absolutely not!

I’ve been there … face down on the ground, mouth full of dirt, and that blood taste from the busted lip and a half-bit-through tongue. I’ve fallen off my horse, been drug off my horse, and been bucked off my horse.

Failure has been there each and every time. Lately it seems that I’ve had some pretty big setbacks and failures.

We’ve all been there. You’ve had your failures. You’ve felt like a failure. That job wasn’t all it was cracked up to be, ending in disappointment.

Your marriage isn’t where you dreamed it would be with your wife or husband.

Your kids are grown and gone with their own problems and failures. You feel partly responsible for the trials that they are going through because you think you failed them as a parent in some areas.

What are we to do? How do we overcome this paralyzing thing of failure?

If we venture to do anything worthwhile then there will come failure.

Theodore Roosevelt is credited for saying, “Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure … than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.”

You see, if we venture to do anything worthwhile then there will come failure. The important thing is to keep a clear perspective during and after coming up short.

Here are three things to do when you’ve failed:

  • Seek God’s guidance as to why you failed.

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plans…. In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord establishes his steps.” (Proverbs 16:3, 9 NIV)

  • Let pride go. Don’t be too proud to admit that you failed. It will be better in the long run. Pride may be the reason you failed in the first place.

“Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:18 NIV)

  • Learn and grow from your mistakes and failures to ensure that you don’t commit the same ones over and over.

“Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers, and blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord.” (Proverbs 16:20 NIV)

“You can’t win if you’re sitting on the fence looking in.”

Well, it’s time I got my butt off the ground, dusted off, stuck my foot back in the stirrup and swung my leg over the cantle. Let’s all dare to ride (and to possibly fail) because if we don’t, then we won’t know what it’s like to win and have the victory.

As my brother always says about getting in the show ring (yours might be the roping, cutting, reining show) … “You can’t win if you’re sitting on the fence looking in.”

I’ll see y’all out in the pasture (or the show pen)!