failure

To Be

As an elementary student, every year my greatest dread was the sports carnival. Running races for flat-footed me were horrific as no matter how hard I tried, last place was mine unless a girl, whose name I'll never forget and wont mention, would rescue me from this torture. Slower than me, she'd guarantee me second last place rather than last.

Beyond this though were other dilemmas. To be acceptable meant that I had to win. Mediocre was not okay but significance meant to be best or near best. I felt good if I was succeeding and accepted.

We often carry these thoughts into the church world. To be noticed and successful, I must be a pastor or worship leader, I must be on the stage or hold a grand title. We often too only show our positive front to leaders. Oh the shock if they saw our flaws and we were then rejected.

As believers, we may accept Christ but we hang onto our past baggage and endeavor to find acceptance and success through external measures rather than in Christ.

The real God is so different from this, being the God, "I am" rather than the god "I do."

No races, competition or comparison are in Him, only the desire for a relationship with each of us. Nor does He disappear if we fail or show negative emotions.

He created us as we are, to find acceptance and rest in Him.

External things such as high achievement and performance, are such an enticement for satisfaction because they are directly in front of us. And yet Solomon often admits, that they are empty and hollow endeavors.

Contentment that is long term,  is an inner quality found in God. Better yet it is free.

 

Being Blessed

There is no guaranteed way through which we can receive God's blessings. There are principles that guide us through life but there is no such thing as a cause and effect pattern that will guarantee blessing.

We can work hard at raising great children or building a great marriage. We can work diligently at a business or making lasting friendships. Ultimately though, we do not have that much control over the outcome and may not achieve our desired result.

Christian leaders can work hard and serve God faithfully. Some enjoy God's blessing by building a substantial ministry but others do not.

Some parents parent faithfully and produce fantastic children but other parents whom have been just as faithful, do not.

Ultimately if we live with a cause and effect mindset regarding the blessing of God, life becomes a roller coaster and disappointing.

If children, marriage, business or friendships succeed, we are happy. If one fails, though, we experience contempt not just for self but for others.

If we live with a cause and effect mentality, or as one whom expects blessing for good works, life and God are disappointing. We live, preoccupied with using God as a source of reward, rather than aiming at a relationship with Him.

Beyond the splendor that life has to offer, focusing on the thought that God Himself is the ultimate blessing is fulfilling. He is the constant relationship that lifts us despite trials and loves and accepts us in spite of success or failure.