The If of Failure

A failure is not always a mistake, it may simply be the best one can do under the circumstances. The real mistake is to stop trying. ~B. F. Skinner

My older son is graduating from college soon. He’s thrilled, excited, nauseated, and scared.

Because now that all the hard work, late nights, and uncertainty are over, he still has no job, isn’t sure what the future holds.

I so understand.

I graduated from college with an Education degree. We moved to an area that was instituting all-day Kindergarten. My specialization was Early Childhood Education, so everything looked promising.

Only I didn’t get a job for over a year.

That isn’t quite true. I actually had two jobs. I worked hard as a substitute teacher during the day and as a teacher and diagnostician at Sylvan Learning Center in the evenings and on the weekends.

In Mark 9, Jesus’s disciples tried to heal a boy possessed by a demon. Nothing they did worked. When Jesus came along, the boy’s father begged Jesus to help if there was anything at all that could be done.


Jesus shook his head, sighed, and healed the boy.

What were we doing wrong, the disciples questioned.

They had the degree, some experience, even a bit of a reputation. They worked really hard, but it wasn’t enough. They felt like failures.

We might look at that and think, if Jesus’s inner circle couldn’t cut it, why am I even trying?

But the disciples turned to Jesus- exactly where they needed to turn -and he led them farther along the path.

What looked like failure was only an answer to IF.

If you try and fail, try again.

Keep on praying. Keep on fasting. Keep on turning to the one with the answers.

It doesn’t take away the fear and nausea, but it does lead you in the right direction.

Far from failure.

5In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because,“God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:5-7 NIV

If this spoke to you, why not speak back to me? Leave a comment.

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