Recently, someone shared with me a magazine article called "Six Success Strategies, from One Cheeky, Caffeinated, Twenty-something Entrepreneur to Another." Not the shortest title, but this was strategy number three: "Fail fast and cook slow." It went one to summarize this advice: "Fail fast. Learn. Move on. Your sanity will thank you." (Gary Nijak, Jr., Notre Dame Magazine)
This Sunday we are continuing to look at the leadership development of Moses. The title of this Sunday's message is "A Failure of Leadership." We will be talking about a time Moses failed and what we can learn from that experience. As both this story from the Bible and the above-mentioned article make clear - do anything long enough and you will fail. This runs counter to the words from the movie Apollo 13, "Failure is not an option." Many will tell us that we actually learn more from our failures than our successes.
In one sense, the whole story of the Bible, beginning with the Garden of Eden story in Genesis, is about human failure and what God chooses to do about it. Instead of leaving us to reap the results of our moral failures, God develops a rescue plan - a way to turn our failures into God's redemptive plan for us and our world. This happened not because we were good or even "good enough." It happened simply because God loved us first. As John's gospel reminds us, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son . . ." God loved us first and devised a divine plan to address our failures.
I want to invite you to think about one time you have failed in life. Also, think about what you learned from that event. Finally, consider if there was anyone who reached out to you to bring something good out of that failure. Maybe it was simply a hug, or a pat on the back. Maybe it was a word of forgiveness. Maybe it was someone who stepped in to take the punishment for your shortcoming. Remember that in Jesus, God did all of that for each one of us.
Prayer for Today
Thank you, God, for not leaving us to wallow in our failure. Thank you for helping us to get back on track with our lives. Thank you for Jesus -- whose life, death, and resurrection makes possible all that is good. We pray this in his strong name. Amen.