Following A Failure
Watchmen make mistakes. Do we get it right sometimes? Thankfully, yes. Do we get it wrong sometimes? Regretfully, yes too often. Nobody is perfect.
We don’t fully reach our goals, or we just plain fail. Maybe your failure was school. Perhaps you failed in business or marriage. No matter where you failed, the question is the same. Does failing make you a failure?
Failure Is Part of Many Success Stories
Many great success stories include failures which aren’t discussed as often. A few you might recognize: Oprah was fired from her first news anchor job. Today, billionaire Oprah owns a network, a magazine, and other enterprises.
Steven Spielberg was rejected by the USC School of Cinematic Arts – TWICE. He is now a Hollywood legend, co-founder of DreamWorks Studios, filmmaker of titles such as Jaws, the Indiana Jones series, E.T., Saving Private Ryan, Jurassic Park, and others, making him the highest grossing director in history.
An unnamed newspaper editor said Walter “lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” Walt Disney has since passed, but it turns out he had a few good ideas. The Walt Disney Company owns Mickey Mouse, but also Walt Disney Studios, ESPN, Pixar, Lucasfilm, Marvel Entertainment, theme parks in five countries; Disney Cruise Lines (including their own island!), Disney and ABC TV Networks, and (it seems) most of Orlando, Florida.
The divorced, depressed single mom on welfare, took college classes when life seemed impossible. Two decades, twenty-four books, and a dozen movies later, J.K. Rowling’s stories about Harry led to her becoming the first billionaire book author in history.
Another famous failure went to war a captain and came home a private. He lost 4 runs at political office and lost the love of his life at age 26. Abe did however eventually manage to get his face on a piece of US currency.
He didn’t speak until age four, but he must have been doing a lot of thinking because Albert did well with the theory of relativity, mathematics, physics, and he won that nice trophy – Nobel something.
A personal favorite is a junior varsity basketball player; let’s call him Mike. I like Mike—he failed BIG! He says of his professional failures, “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan
Many, perhaps most, great successes are built on great failures.
Jesus – the Ultimate Failure Story
The ultimate story of failure would have to be Jesus. His mom was pregnant before marriage. His father married her anyway, which likely led to both their expulsions. Jesus was born in a barn, and His family had to flee for their lives when He was less than two. He grew up a carpenter; an honest and respected trade, but not one that earns international acclaim. His father likely died when Jesus was young and is not mentioned at all in His ministry years. His widowed mother was present to see her son tortured to death.
The established religious community ‘the church’ rejected Him. He started His own ministry with a band of misfits; not a single one of them went to Bible college! They traveled around the Middle East never staying long in one place. Jesus disciples doubted. “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked. “Come and see,” said Philip.” (John 1:46) Jesus own brothers did not believe in Him as the Messiah (John 7:5).
He taught unlike anyone ever taught before Him, but people did not learn. He healed the sick, but the healthy rejected Him. He cast demons out of those hopelessly possessed, yet Jewish leaders dismissed the miracle as Satanic magic. He raised the dead, but the living turned against Him. “He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, but the world knew Him not. He came unto His own, but His own received Him not.” (John 1:10,11)
Many who followed Jesus were the lowest in society. He befriended Jewish tax collectors like Zaccheus and Matthew, who enriched Rome and lined their own pockets by over-charging taxes to their fellow Jews. He literally touched and healed incurably-ill lepers who were forbidden to touch anyone. Prostitutes loved Him because He was the only man Who did not abuse them but instead forgave them for what other men did. He surrounded Himself with diseased, outcasts, poor, rejected, and uneducated—sinners.
He died like a common criminal: falsely accused, beaten, spit upon and abandoned by those who once held Him in the highest esteem. Liar! Traitor! Coward! Failure!
…and success. Jesus managed to save all humanity.
Watchmen Fail Well – Nobody Is Perfect (…well, there was that One)
Watchmen, we are human, sometimes we fail. But good news – you work for Someone Who overcame an entire life (and death) of “failures” with just one Resurrection.
“I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
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