And, as always, there is a lesson for me in this little activity. She worked so hard to build those towers, yet she was not upset when they fell. She just calming said "AGAIN!" over and over. This had me thinking about all the times that I was not very happy when something I had worked on didn't turn out as I expected or wanted. As a matter of fact, many times I just gave up when things went wrong. Isn't that a pretty common response? This morning on the radio, I heard a short story about the CEO of Pixar Studios. He views failures as something positive. He says that failure is a necessary consequence of doing something new!
WOW! Isn't that a unique idea? But think about all of those new things that we learn in life - starting when we are babies! Not many babies stand up and walk across the room. There are usually weeks and weeks of wobbly steps and lots of falling down on your bottom. We don't think of this a failure - rather as learning! Yet as adults, if we try something new and it doesn't work out right away, we are quick to say it was a failure. And even worse, to think of ourselves as failures. I wonder how many amazing new things are lost to us because people just called it a failure and gave up.
After our Lego building, we all went to the park. Anna has watched all of her older siblings working on the monkey bars. She is certainly not able to reach them. So when she discovered this bar in the slide, she knew just what she wanted to try. And she was able to hang there for quite a long time. She managed to swing her feet and fly down the slide! Quite an accomplishment for a little two and half year old! She was once again, not afraid to fail.
And right along with this wonderful lesson, came another bit to add to this. I heard a teaching on how Jesus takes the failures we have - the bitter things in our life - and brings them together with the success we have - the sweetness - to bring a perfect blend to make us who we are as individuals.
Both bitter and sweet are needed to make a balanced end product. And Jesus always turns that bad, bitter stuff - even when it is of our own doing, into something amazing when He touches our life. Doesn't that change how we should view all of those past failures? They are just part of the "spice" that makes us who we are!
I want to change this fear of failure in my life! I would like to try and do lots of new things and not be afraid of failing. I have three paintings hanging on my wall because I decided to try a new thing! And I am sure that there are plenty more new things just around the corner for me to do. I will just have to be continually reminding myself that it is okay to fail! And more than that I, I need to re-program my way of thinking! I need to be more like Anna and be willing to say "AGAIN" when something falls apart. And most of all, I need to remember to laugh when things don't go right!
I think it is time to look for a new opportunity!
Jesus, thank you for the lessons you continue to teach me. Help us all to remember that you take our past mistakes and failures and bring your Holy Spirit to turn sad to glad and bad to good. Holy Spirit, help us to overcome the fear of failure. Give us courage and boldness to step out and try new things. Thank you for new ideas, new thoughts and new concepts. Amen