Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another -and all the more as you see the Day approaching. - Hebrews 10:25
In our house, we're all failures. Sounds harsh, I know, but it's the truth. Every one in my family has failed at something. We've had failed jobs, failed marriages, failed friendships. You name it and we've probably had a shot at it at some point in our family's history. However, having these disappointments and accepting them are two different things.
We learned early on, in raising a child with mental retardation, that true failure was not an option. The road was hard - still is bumpy. But we've grown deeper as a family. In this child, we found out the world would prefer we miss a step and fall - it gave them something to talk about, something to drill into us. In my eyes, failure was not an option. We learned quickly, that if our child was going to grow up with any abilities at all, it would be because we encouraged him to be above the disability.
Our family had the three-try rule. Not only did it apply to our special needs child but it applied to the other three boys as well. You tried everything at least three times. If you were still unsuccessful, you could rest but then try again. We learned to be cheerleaders. Honest cheerleaders and our encouragement of each other struck a chord that made us want to press ahead.
Encouragement and failure seem to go hand in hand. I say that because there are few individuals who come into this world successful. They each had to fail and be encouraged to try again. That's how it is with Christ and His love for us. He knows we aren't going to be successful everytime, still He is the encourager who continually says, "Get up, try again. If you fail, it's okay. Just try again."
So today, I made my way out to the pond. Bundled in a heavy coat, scarf wrapped tightly around my face and nose, I thought it would be nice to listen to water running over the rocks. As I stood there staring into the water, I heard the Father sigh. He rested His arm against the poplar tree, legs crossed, gloves on.
"What's on Your mind today?" I asked "I believe that was a sigh I heard."
"The question is not what's on my mind, it's what's on yours?"
"Lying isn't becoming."
"I'm not lying......well, I don't think I am."
So the Father walks a bit closer and puts His arm around me. "What happened today?"
"Huh hu, that."
"I worked really hard, a lot of hours trying to get it right. But it wasn't. I'm just a bit disappointed."
"Disappointment stinks doesn't it?" He gave me a squeeze.
"So, what's ya going do?"
"Try again. Try until I get it right. Though I'm not sure I will. Or I'm not thinking I will. I feel so dumb sometimes."
"I don't make dumb, sweetheart. I make unique."
"You think I'm unique?" I asked.
"I do. And when you make the effort and it's unsuccessful, you try again because that tells the world you're not a quitter. And if you try and fail again, that tells you that you're not a quitter. Then if you try and fail yet again, it tells me you are a worthy servant because you are faithful to the task."
"Wow, that says a lot. Thanks for the encouragement."
"When all else fails - when you fail -I am always with you, encouraging you to try again, and helping you find success. Remain faithful for I am faithful."
So, I smile as my teeth chatter in the cold morning air, turn and walk back into the house. Only to try again.