So…which is better? To try and fail? Or to never try at all?
My daughter and I had decided to make a homemade dessert for dinner Saturday night. We had just spent an hour peeling peaches and mixing dough. The Peach Cobbler looked yummy! I picked it up…Oh, no!…I forgot the peaches had already been in the oven for a few minutes!…that dish is hot!…CRASH! Hot peaches and gooey dough landed on the oven door and spilled over onto the floor.
Are there words to describe the disappointment in that brief moment? All that work…for nothing. I looked at my daughter. She looked at me. I finally shrugged my shoulders. It is what it is. Having no better tools to work with, I took a spatula and scraped the mixture of peaches, sugar, cinnamon, and flour on the oven door back into the baking dish. And then we got the rest of the sticky mess off of the floor.
I got off my knees when we were all done and ruefully looked at that peach cobbler. But, wait…sure- it didn’t look good…but a seed of a thought was forming in my brain…how would it taste?…what could it hurt? I put the whole unappetizing mess in the oven.
While it was a little funny-looking, it tasted really good and we ate almost the whole thing at dinner that night.
We tried. We failed. We made the best of it.
I tried something else a couple of weeks ago. A new ministry for me. I had a lot of hesitation. I did not think it would be a good fit for me. I was right.
I tried. I failed. How do you make the best of something like that? I have been trying to figure that out for awhile now. But I think one way is to share with you what I learned from that experience–
–I learned that, without a doubt, that ministry is not for me. If I had not tried it, I would have always wondered. Unless you try something, you can’t really KNOW.
–I learned that people will judge you for certain decisions you make. But they do not have all of the details. This failure has encouraged me not to judge others when they make a decision and I do not know the full story.
–I learned that I am getting older. That wasn’t really a very nice thing to learn. But there you are. I have to accept my limitations. We all do.
–I learned that you have to do what is right. And sometimes that means QUIT. Which is a four letter word in our family. A hard thing to come to terms with.
–And I learned that I need to serve in areas where I am gifted. We all do. And if we do that, then we will be like the church body that Paul describes in I Corinthians 12. We will all have different areas in which we serve and together we will make a difference for God’s Kingdom.
So…in the long run…was trying and failing better than not trying at all? I am still not sure. The wounds are a little fresh yet. But would I do it differently? No, probably not. As painful of a time as that was, I did learn some valuable lessons I would not have learned any other way.