Friday, July 6, 2012

Celebrate Failure

I have one failed business under my belt, and while upsetting, I learned a lot from it.  Those lessons are being put into practice in my newest venture as an author.  When I first started teaching, I went through the usual round of substituting and being laid off as a new teacher.  Once after being laid off, I didn’t get rehired right away.  
Photo by Bill Nicholls

 Now I’m fairly responsible, so I launched immediately into an aggressive job hunt.  My family was depending on me and I couldn’t sit around and wait on a job that might not be there for me.  Seeing that nothing was coming and we were temporarily doing ok financially, I decided to upgrade my fairly useless history degree with a masters degree in business administration.  I was convinced that there were no opportunities in teaching and decided to cast my lot with the business world.  

I developed a two-track plan to create a business while looking for a position with a company.  Ironically, I was offered a teaching position at the end of that very summer.  While teaching, I took night classes to complete my master’s degree the following year because it would lead to an immediate pay raise, and it would provide some semblance of a lay-off back-up plan.  

A requirement of the degree was that I had to develop a business plan for a new business.  That summer I decided to pass on working at the San Diego Fair to try my new business idea.  It was a failure and it was upsetting.  I did; however, get a clear look at my interests and abilities by attempting this business.  I got a better look at what I enjoyed doing and what I really don’t want to do as a career.  At the time I was not sure what practical experience I had learned from that experiment, but I now believe it all had a purpose in my life.  

You also will travel down similar “dead ends” but it may be preparation for something greater, so don’t freak out when things don’t make sense.  Uncertainty is one of the hallmarks of a concept called faith.  Faith is trusting in something that is intangible or unseen.  When you walk with God, you must trust that He has your best interests at heart even when things are going horribly (Romans 8:28).  If you don’t trust Him, you won’t stick your neck out.  

Writing represents a new chapter of my summer life as an author so it is new, exciting and scary.  I don’t know if this will be successful, but what I do know is that God loves me and even if this becomes a failure it will mean something in God’s overall plan for me. 

I have put many hours into all this new venture and success is not guaranteed, but risks need to be taken or I'll stagnate. You should have a similar outlook towards taking risks. 

(Proverbs 3:5-6). 

As you trust God (a risk) with more and more of your life, you will be led into some uncomfortable things that may not succeed outwardly.  Sometimes success is not something you will see this side of heaven. Failure is a good teacher, so be ready to stop and contemplate the lessons in the failure.  In the same way that successes are not readily evident, there will sometimes be no apparent lesson to be drawn from a failure.  This is the mystery of God.  Sometimes bad things happen and there is no clear explanation why.  All we can do is press into Him for the strength to get through that difficulty.  Celebrate failure even though it stinks.

This post is one in a series of posts with the Christianwriters.com blog chain.  This month's theme is Celebrate.  Please check out some very talented writing by clicking on the links along the right side of this website.  If you are a Christian writer, this website offers a wealth of advice and support on your journey as a writer.