I have been reading Gregory Boyle’s book, Tattoos on the Heart. Boyle is a Jesuit priest and the founder of Homeboy Industries. Their mission is both simple and visionary; they assist at-risk and formerly gang-involved youth to become positive and contributing members of society through job placement, training and education. Once again, it was a statement in the book’s introduction that stuck with me: “anything worth doing is worth failing at.” I need to hear this, more than that I need to believe this.
It is really easy to believe that success emerges only from success. In other words, to be successful I must make correct decisions. The honest truth is that, for me, success tends to emerge from the ashes of failure, mistakes and lousy decisions.
I am the National Director of a ministry. When I fail, others are impacted. This is frustrating and humbling. It means I have to own my failure and sometimes apologize for the hurt I have caused.
Failure has a painful downside. That said it is failure that has made me and DOOR, the program I direct, what it is today.
Failure is simply a part of life.
It is how we respond to failure that dictates the role that failure will play in our lives and ministry. Consider for a moment Judas and Peter. Both of them failed in a significant way. Peter denied Jesus and Judas betrayed Jesus.
Judas’ response – commit suicide.
Peter’s response – run to Jesus.
Peter owned his failure and found the courage to move on. I do not wish failure on anyone, but I agree; anything worth doing is worth failing at.