Sunday, October 5, 2014

Failing Upward or What I Learned at United Night

This was supposed to be a daily blog about my Fast. I was going to document day by day the thoughts and feelings I had during the fast. 

That fast however came to a crashing halt this evening. It was supposed to be 5 days of nothing but water.  I ended up going 44 hours. I got stressed out today and I was offered a brownie. I just reacted. So then I felt terrible. I had been reading a book on fasting and I was ready to do it. Granted the fasting in the book was quite a bit more laid back than only water but in the book the author said you could pick your fast and it was technically an option. 

I was going to fast and pray for my wife and kids. To store up prayers for them. I was fasting for guidance. See I don't know where God wants me. I know I have a ministry in me I just don't know what it is. I know it involves my church. My LifePoint. I thought I knew where but someone way more wise and in tuned with God didn't have that impression and that threw me for a loop. I thought I was convinced. 
Well after that incident I feel cut off from that path. It feels like a chore now sometimes rather than a thrill.  I don't know if it was me who shut the door or God letting me know that I'm still searching.  
I was fasting for a better financial future. More security

I had written my reasons down and I was ready so I embarked on my fast

Tonight after it ended I was pretty down. Felt like I failed (because I did) and then tonight during church I went to pray and the words that came out changed my mind. 
What I was thinking was "I failed you God, and I'm sorry". What came out as a whisper as I sat there was "I'm a failure for you God".  

I didn't mean to say it and it wasn't what I was thinking but that's what God said thru me for me. 
It hit me seconds after I said it. That is what I am. That's what I'll always be. All my "successes" in my relationship with Christ will always be outweighed by my failures. This didn't worry me or make me doubt my salvation. Instead this gave me comfort. 

It gave me comfort in 2 ways. 

The fact that I felt bad for failing meant I was genuinely trying. In fact the degree to which my failure bothered me was an indication of how much I cared about what I was trying and about doing my best for Him. I found comfort in the fact that I cared so much about doing this thing that no one knew about for me and my walk that I was shattered when it failed.   I had tried and I fell short but I did try. I know that God was happy with my effort and celebrating in the fact that I failed doing something to honor him. 

God was happy with my failure.

It reminds me of how I feel as a parent when I watch my kids try and do something to impress me. Sometimes one of them will draw a picture for me and it's terrible.  I still love it to the point my eyes well up because even though it looks nothing like what they wanted it to, they tried and they tried hard to make me happy. I take all those drawings and I put them in a special drawer. The drawer is in my office desk, where I am most the time. I look thru that drawer and the drawings once in a while and I smile.  That drawer ALWAYS makes me smile. 

2) It comforted me knowing I was in good company.  King David, King Saul, King Solomon, Adam and Eve, Samson, Moses, Abraham, Aaron, Isaac, Jacob, Most of the 12 sons of Israel, Many of the other Kings of Israel. That is a list of failures just like me. Just like you. People that tried and failed. Some of which failed in a far grander way than I did. 

All people I know one day I'll meet in the Kingdom. All Failures for God.  

It reminds me of a verse that I memorized thanks to teaching the K-3 class. 

 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.   -Phi 1:6

Do I wish I'd have done better? Am I disappointed in myself?  The answer to both of those questions is Yes. 

However I am positive Gods answer to them would be no. 

I  am also  positive that He's still working on me and the picture I drew for God in my heart over the last 44 hours made it into Gods drawer.    

At your Service 

Alan