Build Failure Into the Game Plan

Learn from strike outs, then get back in the game.
Yeah, I know nobody knows
Where it comes and where it goes
I know it’s everybody’s sin
You got to lose to know how to win.
— Aerosmith, “Dream On”
Walk into any elementary school classroom today and you’ll likely see posters of cute baby animals with quotes saying things like: if you want it... go get it; dream big; shoot for the moon, think positive; you can do it. As we grow, those phrases take on more meaning, but if these stay the elements of our game plan for life, we’re going to keep running to third base every time.

How about this phrase for a poster: If you haven’t failed, then you’ve been missing out. The full life as God intended is filled with growth. And growth requires change, and perhaps more importantly, failures that make us better when we use them.

Myers shares about an experience he had with failure that just about knocked him off course. He was asked to do a speaking engagement in Texas about this very topic, The Home Run Life. Myers recalls how the talk was a total disaster! He felt like his whiff had let people down and wasted their time. Then, just a few months later, he was asked to speak again. Uncertain after the recent failure in Texas, he again was preparing, but felt God reassuring him that failure is not final when we allow Him in. With God, that talk was a standing ovation success.

Myers goes on to share that through that experience, he learned about turning failure into success, saying: “If you desire to do anything of value in life, you will fail. How will you manage that? What will you do with the chances you get after you fall down and fall short? Don’t allow your failures to become final. Learn from it when you strike out and get back in the game.” It’s in part how we know we’re really playing the game, rather than just running to third.

READ and THINK… What does the Bible say?
  1. Jesus’ words in Matthew 13:30 may seem strange to us. The farmer in the parable tells his workers NOT to pull weeds (as a kid you might have wished your mom had said the same thing).
Question: In the parable, why did the farmer allow the weeds to continue growing? In a spiritual sense, who represents the “weeds”?

Matthew 13:30 (New Living Translation)

Let both grow together until the harvest. Then I will tell the harvesters to sort out the weeds, tie them into bundles, and burn them, and to put the wheat in the barn.

  1. We cannot reach God’s plan for our lives if we continue to live in the world and behave as the world does. We also will not stumble upon God’s plan, wake up one day and be good to go. We must develop a game plan and live it out.
Question: Why are we called to give our bodies as a living sacrifice to God?

Romans 12:1 (New Living Translation)

And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.

LIVE… What will you do now?

It’s time for some third base reflection:

  • How well are you handling the pace of progress in your career, your education goals or your priorities as a stay-at-home parent?
  • Do you find the pace to be rewardingly fast, frustratingly slow, or somewhere in between? Have you always reacted to the pace as you do now?
  • In what circumstances/situations have you prioritized third base (results) over making sure that you were on track with God, maintaining good character and being connected to others?
What keeps you from developing really deep roots and a plan? Is it no results? Is it running to third base first and coming up empty? Is it a past failure? Have you let the “weeds” take over rather than burning them?

Describe a failure you experienced and handled well. What was the key to your ability to do well in that situation? How can you apply that key to other areas of your life?

PRAY… God, what do you want me to know and do?

Ask God to help you develop your game plan. If there is an area in your life where you feel you have failed or are struggling, ask God to help you learn from that strike out. Get back in the game!
Jan Tanis
Jan Tanis

I'm Jan and I'm happy you stopped in. Please, leave a comment and follow along..

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jan, thank you for sharing another great post and lesson. This is something to really think on and re read.
    Happy Mother's Day
    Hugs CM