What is it that makes failure so appealing, so addictive? I wish I was ignorant of what Matthew meant when he said, “Watch and pray so that you won’t fall into temptation. The spirit is willing but the body is weak” (Matt. 26.41). I understand his meaning all too well.
I know I’m not the only person prone to failure. But I would like to know why I keep doing the same things over and over again knowing I will only feel guilty later. I spend so much time rationalizing how what I want isn’t wrong, then indulging, then rationalizing again to try and stifle the guilt.
They say confession is good for the soul but as with most good things it doesn’t come easy. I might labor (and have labored) for months over who to tell only to find the person I told is completely ok with what I can’t rationalize into being ok no matter how hard I try. And believe me I’ve tried. Long discussions ensued, many of them, a second voice helping me rationalize. So why can’t I shake the bone deep feeling that it’s still wrong? (Mom, I know what you’re going to say but please, not here. I love you but this isn’t one of those things you can fix.)
Then the hunt begins afresh. Who can I tell who won’t think less of me but also won’t agree with me? It’s significantly less helpful than I’d like. But that’s what friends are for right? We confide in each other and show who we really are, vulnerable, at the mercy of those we trust. In my personal experience I’ve found vulnerability to be my greatest weapon against my failings.
One day, one fine day I will succeed in failing to fail. One fine day my mind will take a backward turn and I’ll turn it back around and move on with my life. Failure doesn’t have to be a bad thing. I’ve failed at failure before and I’ll do it again. I was born stubborn and I’ll die stubborn but God help the world around me when I learn how to use it properly.
Thanks for peering through this window of my life. If I know someone is watching it encourages me to make my life worth noticing. I only hope this effort to be vulnerable helps someone else to do what they need to as well. Even if we never meet or speak, we’ll take this journey together. To break out of my self-induced pity party I listened to Matthew West’s song “Hello My Name Is.”