OP-ED: Living Life – How you handle failing is what matters
“Failure is not an option.”
I would think most people have likely hear these words from Apollo 13. While the context in which these words were used in the movie is to express the desire and commitment for astronauts to return safely home is definitely fitting, the use of this quote over the years has, in my opinion, strayed from the original intent.
The truth is that failure is real. It is a consistent part of our lives. While it isn’t a concept that we should become comfortable with, it is one that we must acknowledge does in fact exist.
I can say that I have been guilty of having the ‘I’m never wrong’ attitude in my younger years. I could argue with you that a stop sign is blue and by the end of the argument you would agree with me.
Though this is more likely from a desire for me to be quiet as opposed to my skills at changing minds. I have grown over the years and now I do my very best to admit and accept when I fail.
The fact is that it happens multiple times every day. I mess up somehow in some way consistently. That is guaranteed.
I think that realization and acceptance is a key step in my walk with Christ. I am not perfect. I am so far from it. I continually mess up. I continually disappoint. But I try to get better with each fall; I try to grow with each stumble.
I used to think that a list of everything I did on Earth during my life was being kept and that when I died my hope was that I would have more things on the ‘good’ list than the ‘bad’ one; almost like God was keeping score.
I believed that I could ‘earn’ salvation.
I couldn’t have been further from the truth. It is a gift. It is one that is given freely regardless of what I have done. No failure in my life could ever take it away once it has been given.
This ‘righting of the course’ in my life has made all the difference in the world. Where I used to do things to ensure I was doing good, specifically good to ensure my future and not necessarily about who it helped, now my focus is truly on who I am helping.
I want to show Christ’s love to those around me. I also want people to know that failing is a part of life. It is what you do after failing that matters.
“God doesn’t want something from us, He simply wants us.” -C.S. Lewis
Chris Kovatch is a resident of Orange County. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org