One of my most recent favorite quotes is …
Failure is an event, not a person – an attitude, not an outcome.
In this messy life, we stumble and blow it. We get messy, muddy, and marred. But we need to always remember, that does not mean it is all over.
They are way too many illustrations … Edison and the light bulb, Edgar Allen Poe’s early writing, Moses at 40 and 80 and 120, and more. Yesterday I got a call and helped a young man who seemed resigned that he was a failure at his job, and that he should leave the job and the field. (If I felt that way after a bad sermon or committee meeting, I’d would have been gone long ago) So, I gave a sport’s analogy to encourage him … me, a sports apology. That’s like Stephen King writing a love story.
I said one bad day in the batters box does not a career end. Interestingly, he got it. I think. His tone changed, he seemed to have a light bulb come on inside his head (maybe I should’ve used the Edison story), and he collected some ideas to learn from the shortcomings.
One bad day in the batters box does not a career end!
So, my head started to think of other ways to see this principle and I thought of trees from rocks. In living out my hiking hobby, I see some unusual sights. Trees from rocks has always caught my attention. It seems difficult to grasp. Tree – solid rock – how? How many seeds did it take? How does it survive without dirt, roots, etc.? It could have easily given up … and I am sure many seeds and saplings did. But some lasted. Okay, not an perfect example … but it does tell us, don’t give up even if circumstances are difficult.
If trees can grow in rocks, then we can grow in difficult situations too.
Thank you Zig Ziglar and Craig Groeschel for using the quote recently to remind me … failure is an event, not a person.
Photo from a hike in Shenandoah National Park near Grottoes, Va.