Friday, October 30, 2015

How Doubts About Healing In Grief Actually Prove Faith

OBSERVATIONS of another’s grief prove cathartic, especially when that grief is a cathartic experience. I’m inspired by the faith of a friend who says she hopes, through grief, to grow in empathy, warmth, and genuineness — which is something I believe — that grief has a purpose in our development.
Here’s the premise of this article: if we have doubts about the healing power available in grief that, in itself, proves our faith.
Doubts that we’re being healed, whilst believing we’ll be healed, are the essence of faith.
Doubts that we’re being healed, normal as they are, prove faith, if we keep believing, which is acting. Belief translates into action.
Doubts are bound to occur. But the fact that we keep stepping, believing that God can make good from anything we’re called by life to encounter, propounds our faith.
Traversing grief is as much a task of faith as anything else. Faith underpins courage. Faith tells us humility is the way. Faith allows the complaint, but it keeps stepping anyway.
But traversing grief is not just about faith. It’s about healing; holding to a belief (faith!) that there is a compensation for all we’ve been through.
What I’m holding to — what I attest as my experience of healing through grief — is that there is a softening unto surrender unto a losing of our lives to save them. This has not been a recent learning, however proximal the grief of losing Nathanael has been. (As I write, the actual hour he was stillborn approaches — one year hence.) I learned the precious Presence of God in my first grief — my hardest grief — twelve years ago. I can tell you of the fondness I have for those times, only now as I look back; those times that were harrowing and lonely and cruel. Yet those are the times, where I simply stepped by faith, with no vision of hope, and walked ultimately into healing.
When we step by faith, which means we have no vision of hope, God blesses that faith. It seems pointless at the time, and doubts are not only to be expected; they’re proof of faith — that despite our doubt we’re going to keep stepping by faith, anyway.
By faith we step into healing, and, though healing is a thousand paces off, in faith we know we’re getting there.
Healing is not simply about arriving at the other end of grief feeling ‘normal’ again. Healing is a new normal of greater awareness as an individual of the universe; a child of God. Healing is the grand narrative of the blessedness of faith plied out of a vacuous hope; for faith with hope is no faith at all.
Let me say it again. Doubts are not only normal, they’re proof that we walk by faith.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Life’s About Being Really Clear What’s Important to You

Some things seem so important,
The little things, the precious, the few,
Just don’t confuse what’s important,
With what’s not important to you.
The above poem isn’t advocating selfishness. It advocates for clarity of purpose.
One thing we search for, high and low, is for the sense of purpose we know is in life; that we see others living with. We’re easily inspired, and even a little envious, when people find their purpose, plunge forth in faith, and are lauded as success stories. And God wants this for each of his children.
We each come prewired to live such a clarity of purpose that gets us out of bed, makes us strive through the day, where we can be content of an evening. We were all designed to work hard in a real area of passion.
When passion is infused within us, impelling us forward, that work becomes joy.
Now, back to the meaning in the poem above.
So many things can seem important. Stephen Covey said something that’s a problem for us is we get too concerned with many things beyond our influence. He encouraged us to live in the ‘circle of influence’, separating out those other things within the wider ‘circle of concern’. We only have so much conscious room. We only have so much time and energy. God blesses those who understand their limits of time, energy and consciousness. There are plenty of things to be concerned about that orbit in our circle of influence.
There are some things, many that seem so little, that are so precious, and are few.
Important things are those smiles of a child. The nothingness in a breezy silence. The wonder in a mind’s image. But just as much are the dreams that resonate within our hearts. God put those dreams there. And there’s a way to bring a dream to fruition.
The poem is about not confusing what’s truly important — to others, in history, and in the world — with what’s specifically important to you.
God wants us all to ask, “Lord, what have you made me for… for what specific reasons have you made me and purposed for me to be here.” God is so blessed when we take the time and initiative to ask such a simple question, and to meditate there over the lifespan.
In essence, seeking God’s purpose in our lives is seeking his will for our time.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Eternity’s Blessings In the Love Language of Quality Time

QUALITY time is a love language of many people I know. But isn’t it strange that quality time is almost always more about quantity time than it is about shorter periods of real so-called quality time.
Quality time seems indeed to be a commitment toward spending enough time doing worthwhile things. Quality time could be defined by its converts as “a commitment not to get bored while you spent time with me.” Perhaps it’s even, “a commitment to enjoy me as long as we can be together.”
Quality time is quantity time spent in quality ways.
I’ve found that many people who align as quality time people know they’re needy in this respect. Some are needier than others. But such a neediness, even at a moderate level, can prove draining on people, especially if others are contemplative.
If we truly want to help someone with the need of our quality time we’ll do a dance: on the one hand we’ll be available in relatively liberal ways, yet on the other we’ll commit to a caring and gentle form of honest communication. Most people appreciate our truth, but it’s most acceptable when it comes from humility — from an acknowledgement of our lack and focusing not on theirs. If it’s our time that’s hard to find, we need to be honest. If we’re not helping them, we need to be honest. If we’re feeling boxed in, we need to be honest about how we feel. We can only take responsibility for what we can control.
Quality time people most exemplify the eternal nature of life — they make the most of nature, relationship, care, and of loving fellowship. These are good things. The contemplative can learn a great deal from a quality time person. Principally they learn that time and space aren’t things to be coveted. Time and space are a gift from God, and quality time people can help the contemplative make the leap out of their idolatry.
The love of faith of quality time invested is a gift of eternal life.
Those who spend quality time with people, in faith, stand to learn so much about God, life, and eternity.
Quality time is a teacher if only we’ll be learners of the ancient craft of eternal life.
The chief surrender in the obedient life is that of time and space; to embark on eternity’s quest through the openness of partaking of quality time.
Quality time is a portent of eternal life in the realm of existence.
Only when we give up the time we have do we recognise we have given up what was never ours to begin with. Then we partake of something truly life-giving.
When we surrender our time to something we never thought worthwhile suddenly we learn what is truly worthwhile.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Grappling With the Multiplicity of Losses In Grief

“Grief seems to create losses within us that reach beyond our awareness — we feel as if we’re missing something that was invisible and unknown to us while we had it, but now painfully gone.”
BRAKES fully locked, life finds us spinning dangerously out of control through a hairpin bend of grief. At its simplest it’s just the one massive loss — a partner, a child, a parent, a family member, a marriage, a career — lost, gone. There are so many kinds of loss. And within every loss there are many splinters of loss that ripple outward, and all of these losses are grief-worthy of the own right, let alone the actual loss itself.
What I want to explore here is twofold: 1) the fact that grief, though its source seems obvious, can be a hard thing to pinpoint; and hence, 2) recovery from grief, with all good intent, can seem like trying to escape from a confounding labyrinth.
Grief rattles not only our conscious reality of life, it pulverises our identities. We doubt who we were and we’re not sure we like who we’ve now come to be.
In our losses it’s not just us who’s affected, it’s those who rely on us — those who depend on us — who are affected. We get anxious about how others are affected, and depressed because we cannot help them as we’d like to be able to. In our losses, we have to get used to the end of something we never actually contemplated would end. It’s only in our losses that we find our identities were fused to something that could be, and now is, lost. We may feel confused about, disappointed with, or angry at God, or all of the above. Not only is our world shaken, so too is our faith. Our losses bring to an end hopes that would not have appeared to be under threat, but now are; some of which are now gone. And loss brings us to a point where life — the life that was — can no longer be — as it was. It’s now forever redefined. That alone can bring incredible heartache.
There is a presence in the loss that hardly ever seemed real in real life, as it was, but which now feels untenably cogent — a loss of something that never was but felt like it was. And the maddening thing is it probably was.
Something I’ve tended to ask all those I counsel through grief is to make a list of losses, and to work on such a list until they feel it’s complete. It makes the losses more tangible. Just knowing all the varied losses and the areas of life that have been affected helps because we’re able to compartmentalise grief better over the longer haul. This is good forwards work when we’re feeling up to it.
Nobody wants to be forever defined by grief. Everyone wants to move through and out of it. If we’re diligent in identifying what losses we’ve suffered we’re more readily able to process each loss with time.
On the other side of grief love shelters the grief of loss, and newfound compassion swells life exponentially.
God compensates our journey through grief through our gradual acquisition of empathy, warmth, and genuineness.
Grief’s best compensation is a life we never had before; a life we never dreamt we might create. Now we can.
Grief seems like hell at the time, but God brings heaven out of it.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Driving Perfectionism Way Out of Town

“It’s always helpful to remember that when perfectionism is driving, shame is riding shotgun.”
PERFECTIONISM is at the root of many evils of unconsciousness that grow great trees of unacknowledged shame in us. Let me attempt to illustrate.
If we rail against feedback, which may or may not represent the truth, or maybe partial truth, we have a feeling that the feedback is well-intentioned, but there’s something jarring in it. It’s the feeling of shame. Like, “I should be over this. I shouldn’t struggle with this… but I am struggling with this. It’s driving me crazy.”
Or, if we hold ourselves to such high standards — them that we’ve usually reached — but find we no longer can — our perfectionism has turned against us and our shame is now prominent. That’s because our purpose has been shaken somehow. I’m talking our over-abiding purpose of life — an existential purpose we all have: life has to be meaningful. Shame drives that purpose down within us.
Perfectionism is an often unconscious living within a lie. It’s never helpful in a sustainable way, though it will undergird the achievement of amazing results. Then, when we’ve realised these results mean much less than we wanted them to, we’re inconsolably disillusioned.
Shame is that horrid reality that can only be addressed as we face it in vulnerability. In vulnerability shame can no longer stand as it is; it has to be transformed through truth to a grounded acceptance. Acceptance is always liberating, freeing us to joy.
The perfect answer to driving perfectionism out of town is twofold: awareness of shame and our purpose beyond it, through vulnerability.
If we’re happy to explore our laments we’ll soon discover our expectations are set in something that’s unrealistic. Such a perfection intuits shame. As Brown suggests, perfection’s close assistant is shame. What else would drive us to an unrealistic locale of person? But when we come to accept the place life’s brought us to be in, we’re better situated to consider life from a neutral perspective.
Driving perfection out of town means turning the gun on shame through intentional vulnerability. The more we embrace our imperfections of brokenness, the less shame we cavort with, and the better our experience of reality.
As perfection holds the reins, with shame riding shotgun, life is miserable.
If shame rides shotgun for perfectionism, vulnerability rides shotgun with acceptance. One is bondage; the other, freedom.
The way through brokenness to wholeness is the self-acceptance of grace through vulnerability. But, perfectionism takes us away from, not toward, joy.
Joy can only be experienced when we accept the realness of our reality.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Becoming Aware of and Doing God’s Will

BIG things are the small things we never think are important, but are. The biggest things are always incredibly minute. Read the quote below and interact with the wisdom-of-obedience it commends us to:
“If, then, you wish to live a good life, keep watch over your will continually in great and small things alike — both in those things which are in your own control, and in things which are not — lest it swerve in any degree from the right way.”
— ANSELM (1033 – 1109)
The right way: God’s will is the right way. There is nothing more important. There’s nothing else important. The right way.
When we abide in him as he abides in us — imagery of Jesus speaking through the words of John chapter 15 — we see that we’re led by the Holy Spirit to do things a certain way. This certain way is always respectful of others and courteously discerning. We might pray, “What would Jesus do?” But, equally, we could, by prayer, attend mindfully to the will of God in our circumstance simply by imagining the Holy Spirit there inside us, actually present with us. We would hardly do an abominable thing if we knew someone were watching; imagine how additionally studious we’d be if we knew God sees all, from the inside — from within as only we can see.
We carry about ourselves this treasure in our earthen vessel. We’re broken and so apt to stray. Yet we have this precious piece, a parcel of God, inside us who seeks us, seeking us to abide, to listen, to do as we’re led. God permeates us perfectly by his Spirit.
This treasure that is the Holy Spirit leads us in the right way — and many possible junctures of rightness are possible.
We may or may not do the right thing whether we’re in control or not. Our will must join with God’s if we’re to do the right thing in little and large matters; in matters within and out of our control.
The outworking of our faith bears little consequence other than our obedience to God’s will. Our sensing of and our obedience to his will and not our own is our life in sum. We have no fruit to show otherwise.
The fruit of maturity of faith hangs, ripe for the picking, from the tree of the Doing of God’s will.
The fruit of the Spirit is always good to the taste, a blessing, right for every time and circumstance.
The fruit of the Spirit abides, accords, applies to the right way.
The fruit of maturity of faith is picked at just the right time and way, destined for just the right thing.
Becoming aware of and doing God’s will: our sole role.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

No Playing Spiritual Kamikaze

EMOTIONAL weakness takes us rapidly into spiritual attack, and without attending to the issues at hand we may quickly resort to becoming a spiritual kamikaze.
Recall the Japanese Zeros of the Second World War, and their pilots, so committed to the Japanese effort, they used their planes as bombs by ploughing into enemy warships. Few survived. It was not only an intentional suicide, these suicide bombers took out sometimes hundreds of others in their wake.
Playing spiritual kamikaze occurs when we’ve not tended to the core work of spiritual maintenance and upkeep; suddenly a plethora of perplexing emotional stimuli comes in and we don’t have the spiritual backup we’d ordinarily rely on.
Spiritual stamina is built up through a dedicated and sustained devotional life. There’s no substitute. But we’ve all lapsed to the point of weakness coming in; where we lacked awareness of the broken arrow we’d become.
Having ploughed their planes into enemy warships (usually American), the Japanese pilots, perhaps only skilled enough to do the direst deed, not only ended their own lives, they ended many other enemy lives, also.
Our spiritual kamikaze acts tend to bring others down with us. If we have power and influence, more people are potentially brought down. And as we rally to understand what’s going on, the only real difference between the Japanese kamikaze and the spiritual kamikaze is intention — nobody intends destruction when they genuinely believe in building people up.
Not getting into a spiritual kamikaze is very much about tending to the garden of our faith life; our growth journey with God. Too much beautification of the garden without pulling the weeds means those weeds can end up strangling the best plants.
We’ve been talking planes, so where does this land?
The barometer for the spiritual life is the emotional life. Our mental life (our thinking) is the gauge.
The emotional life is fed from the mental life. What we think influences what we feel, and what we feel influences how we act and interact. Our thinking is key to our health.
The spiritual life is the input; the mental and emotional life is the output. The mental life (our thinking) drives the emotional life. The emotional life is, hence, the main guide for how healthily we’re thinking.
These are some of the tests of adult and mature healthy emotionality I would run myself through in checking my spiritual health:
1.      Am I being really honest before God? Do I trust him with my truth? What are the examples of where I’ve been doing this?
2.      Am I being intentionally vulnerable in my relationships? This mirrors my trust of God, showing that, because I trust God, I’m also able to trust important others who’ve proven themselves trustworthy in my life.
3.      Where have I been growing? What would God be most pleased with in terms of my growth?
4.      Have I been building people up as opposed to damaging people? And where I have damaged relationships, what restitutive work have I put in place? What are the evidences of my building others up? (Note: God directly uses our building up of others to build us up.)
5.      How in-tune have I been recently with regard to my spiritual health or ill-health? Am I a positive presence, safe to be around, in life at the moment?
© 2015 Steve Wickham.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Why Our Suffering Means So Much to God

EMOTIONAL weakness, physical paucity, mental illness, and the like — weaknesses of the human condition in sum — connect us to God. Without these we could have no real, veritable relationship with this Lord who suffered. Jesus Christ is the pattern for life in that he bore in and through and over his own body the sufferings of a brutal reality, which is life, from within which the brutal reality of his death was suffered.
Christ and his Father know full well of the trials and struggles that we endure; those that are both common to life, yet unique to us as individuals who do feel singled out.
Can we read the following little sonnet as a word that is perhaps from God?
You, who endure your pain,
Like being caught in the rain,
Or being found helpless in the drain,
Who feels like you’re going insane,
Enduring despite a sense of despair,
You, I admire,
By My strength you inspire,
When your life feels it’s dire,
I know you’re a trier,
In weakness you still choose to dare.
God is so very proud of you for your suffering forbearance. He who chose his Son to show us how to deal with reality — to be still and know that God covers us in the blessings of hope — even in, and very nearly because, of our travail — shows us, also, how to live by bearing reality.
The abundant life is the life of bearing reality with grace, knowing, accepting, even delighting, in our brokenness.
The abundant life flourishes with joy in the midst of much want.
The person who can suffer adroitly, who has complaint, but does not give up, and keeps going forward, is the person on whom God’s blessing rests.
I don’t think God expects us to suffer perfectly. He desires that we obey, yet he respects and forgives our stumbling. None of us is Jesus Christ incarnate, yet we do have his power through the Holy Spirit to bear our suffering to the point of faith and obedience. But we will complain. We will grumble and groan.
We can afford to imagine God encouraging our hearts, to hear him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant” more often, especially when we’re doing our best to suffer obediently.
God bless you for your striding forward in faith, in the midst of the troubles of your life. Be encouraged. You make God proud of you.
All the Lord ever requires us to do is to attempt to do his will.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

5 Life Situation Songs We All Don’t Like Singing

LIFE is like a game of football. Sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. Winning is exhilarating, but there’s not much learning that comes from winning all the time. Losing is much more of value in a life that’s about growth.
Growth emerges out of regret that we should’ve known better…
1.     Should’ve Known Better – Jim Diamond
Sentiment that hangs long after we’ve said our goodbyes is the regret that surpasses the moment. Times when our emotions lag seriously behind reality, when it takes us months if not years to catch up; times like these are lamentable. But only if we don’t capture the essence of this truth: the hardest lessons are rich with material for learning.
2.    If I Could Turn Back Time – Cher
If only we could turn back time. I find myself saying, “This time last week… if only I knew…,” but then there wouldn’t be the learning that comes from making such noteworthy mistakes. It’s understandable to wish to turn back time. We cannot help think like that in our regret.
3.    The Living Years – Mike and the Mechanics
If only we’d spent the time with a parent or a son or daughter that we could have. But time’s gone. Blessed be that final opportunity of reacquainting in eternity — that’s our hope. We implore God for that. But we also accept that what we feel now we hope is communicated to the other soul in the other realm. Another hope.
4.    Man In the Mirror – Michael Jackson
A seriously penitent song, Man In the Mirror, helps us know that true joy, hope, and peace emanate from the humble heart alive to his or her own truth. As we look into the mirror that is the reality of our own lives, as God or others perceive us, the truth kisses our perspective, and we have fresh impetus to grow.
5.    Cry Me a River – Julie London
There are times when we feel like we literally cry a river over a lost love. We’re desperately forlorn. That was me; when I lost my first love, my first marriage, and my first infatuation afterwards; three times I’ve felt that way — the middle one the worst by far. And still God journeyed faithfully with me even as I cried me a river.
Songs sing to our hearts, especially in troubled times. Songs glide down our emotions and enter the soul, where the song gives therapy and healing.
Music is a language that speaks through our emotions to penetrate the soul.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.

Monday, October 19, 2015

The Journey of Becoming – The Purpose of Life

LOVE in the family of God transcends the love of any other community by design of the predestined will of him who made everything. God made humankind such that it could and would coexist in harmony. But that design was wrecked, not because of God’s lack of love, but because of the greatness of his love — he gave humanity control over its destiny: to obey God or go our own way.
We chose the latter and we’ve been needy ever since.
Whenever we can’t or won’t exist in harmony it’s a hellish arrangement for all concerned, as individuals and collectively. Whenever we have significant relationship conflicts in our lives we experience a kind of irrepressible soul ache. We feel not only far from the other person or people effected, we can feel far from God, too, or at the very least, far from contentment. We’re definitely not ourselves when we’re confronted by our bitterness, resentment, social avoidance, or fear.
The church is the family of God and it’s designed that everyone belongs; everyone, that is, who is open to calling Christ their Lord. Practically, this presumes an inclusive church fellowship. There can be no other designation in the Kingdom of God.
Simply, belonging matters.
A happy person is a person who has found peace with God, the place they belong (the church), and their purpose. That person is open now; their purpose is open; to one of becoming.
If we belong, and we have beliefs based in the truth, we’re able to more fully enter the process of becoming. So becoming is helped inextricably by feelings of belonging and of believing — and better, these two in combination.
We could also see it like this: belonging (being at peace with ourselves within a community) added to believing (in truths that sit well and find their contentment inside us — another peace) equals the capacity of becoming.
Belonging + Believing = Becoming.
Being at peace within a loving community, belonging, and being at peace with one’s life truths, believing, is the way to becoming.
We cannot be happy in life until we belong. We also need the happy grounding of faith. Then we have no impediment in becoming.
Becoming is the drive to actualise what God is leading us toward; becoming is growth in the faith that proves that growth in the faith is God’s work in us.
We believe in God all the more when we see what he’s doing in us; when he’s taking us on the journey of becoming. We also feel we belong in a community of God when we’re becoming, where others, all around us, are becoming.
Becoming is the purpose of life, because life makes no sense if we stay where we are. In fact, if we stay where we are, we’re quickly sliding backward.
There is no such thing as standing still in the faith; it’s either about growth or backsliding — both are about becoming.
The journey of becoming is everyone’s journey of opportunity.
Such a journey is an obligation for any fair-minded individual. They know they must enter the hunt of becoming, of truly living, or live a meaningless life which has no point.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Whose is that Voice? God or the Devil?

LISTENING is the true art and mastery of prayer, but the mere fact of listening also requires discernment… much!
This is an article more about prayer than about voices inside our heads — for those concerned about feeling schizophrenic. These ‘voices’ we hear are really our thoughts as we’re listening along, trying to be guided how to live our lives. The trouble is we’re so easily confused as to where these thoughts come from (God or the enemy) and where they might take us.
Because we have so little information about all the dynamics we’d otherwise need to be aware of in life, we make assumptions. When we act on the basis of a little information, padded out by assumptions, our destiny is fraught.
So, these ‘voices’ or thoughts we get, in the flow of our real lives, can be very harmful. But they can also be helpful, if we’re hearing from God, himself. So very often we aren’t. Bear this in mind.
I know in my own life the amount of times I’ve acted on thoughts I got that I thought were good — from God. My actions always back-fired, no matter how well intended they were, when my thoughts weren’t from the Spirit.
So this is more about screening our thoughts by discernment. We can know these things:
1.      God’s voice does not condemn us, but it does speak truth, and that may involve temporary humiliation. God affirms us and never cuts us down. God saves us and won’t surrender us to evil forces. But we must choose to discern his voice.
2.      Satan is the Accuser and his voice accuses. Whenever we start saying to ourselves, “Yeah, look at how useless, stupid and worthless you are… what a joke,” we can know where that thought come from — Satan, not God.
3.      God’s voice might caution us to pray about matters, to search more the Word (particularly Proverbs), or to see a valued and trusted mentor — even a combination of these. God wants us to slow down and wait before doing anything decisive that might bring harm to others or to ourselves.
4.      Satan speaks words of fear ever subtly into our subconscious, so we act on these thoughts without even thinking. They too easily become us. Too easily we begin to believe horrible things about ourselves, what others might think, and worse, what God might think. Then, if we don’t act on repelling these thoughts, they can compel us to take regrettable action.
5.      God’s Spirit speaks in truth and love. No matter what we’ve done, God speaks in soft and accepting tones. How wonderful that the Spirit admonishes us in ways we hear the truth yet know we’re loved.
The voice of God in our thoughts, as we listen, is a truthful, safe and loving voice, giving good things.
God’s voice vitalises our lives in truth and love. Satan’s voice violates us by lies and fear.
God’s voice in our thoughts is good for us. It is truth. It is love.
God speaks truth lovingly. Sometimes truth is very hard to hear. But God’s voice helps us grow through the pain of a truth that’s hard to bear. God is acceptance in that pain.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

As Failure Abounds, Then Converges With Success

EVERYONE wants success, as everyone wants prosperity. And, yet, we all define such things so differently. One common factor we all have to face, however, is the prevalence of failure — we’ll all fall short of the marks of success and prosperity we set for ourselves. We’ll all be frustrated. We’ll all suffer grief.
Unless we redefine what success is…
“Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”
— Winston Churchill
Success, as it happens, is all about attitude. It’s about what goes on between the ears and between the twelve inches between the head and the heart.
Enthusiasm, says the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, is the key to success, because a person striding forward has no worry of constant failure. They know that, by faith, they’ll have their share of success. Why should they fear failure? They have the audacity to not be bothered by it. They’re no longer psyched out by performance pressure because of the prospect of defeat.
The ultimate faith: to keep stepping forward when all vision ahead and around is grief. When nothing makes sense, and the forlorn nature of life is contended with an unconscionable cheeriness, it’s not insanity in view, but the coolest courage.
As we walk with our heads held high in the midst of defeat we say something cogent to our world — we’ll be back… we’ll be okay… it’s not the end… the latest failure is fodder for future success. Some people are watching extra close. Some want to see us buckle, yet others are praying we’ll show them something they’ve never seen before. Still others know that our attitude will define more than simply our own success. Much can be made out of a cheerful attitude when in the grip of groaning. Our focus is on proving inspirational in our application of innovation.
If success is just resilience in the face of failure, we see success redefined in just being resilient.
Success is just a fancy word for strength; those that fail well have the best strength.
Failure is a sign of reality in a fallen world. We’ll all fail. Failing with dignity is simply about knowing it’s not the end, that there’s room for a smile, a laugh, for perspective.
Fear has no business with the person free to fail. Fear moves onto the next pushover. Fear decides who to cling to and it’s certainly not going to hang out with the courageous.
Let’s fail well, and have the pluck to look fear in the eye, and go on beyond it. Let’s learn to laugh in the face of fear, not to be derisive of the issues we need to take stock of, but to not let it affect our mental and emotional health. To remain positive.
To fail well is to fail honestly, to honour the truth, and to find joy even in disaster.
The successful have mastered how to fail. In mastering failure a person’s ready for success.
When there’s nothing more to lose, success has already been gained.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.