Getting Ahead: ‘Having Failed’


By John G. Pfeifer - Religion Columnist



From my earliest recollection as a child, I can recall constantly trying to accomplish something and experiencing failure.

A few people say that they even have some memory of their toddler years when they were learning to walk. We fell down time and again, but with the encouragement of our parents, we got back up and kept trying until we could walk.

The next challenge in life was the use of the potty. If you are now a parent trying to potty train your own children, you have experienced the frustration your parents had to go through; but once again, with their encouragement, you were eventually able to go on the potty instead of in your pants.

The next big challenge was taking the training wheels off of the bicycle. I remember some pain involved in those failures but with the encouragement of my parents I was able to pick up the bike and try again until I was able to ride it.

By trying and failing over and over again, I was finally able to shoot a basketball well enough to make a basket, throw and hit a baseball, use tools, and the list of overcoming failures goes on and on.

We did not give up because we did not get it right in the first few tries; we just kept trying until we were able to accomplish the task.

As an adult I have heard; “It is better to have tried and failed than to have never tried at all.” That seems to be true if we remember all of those childhood accomplishments were things that we were all able to learn unless we had some disability that prohibited us from doing it.

We were encouraged and we responded to that encouragement as we overcame the countless failures to do the thing we were trying to do.

What if there would have been no encouragement? Would we have tried and tried again, or would we have quit trying after failing a few times? How do we feel toward someone who has failed at something they are trying to accomplish? Do we encourage them to try again or do we want to focus on their failure? Can you think of some things in life that are worth trying again even though efforts have failed in the past?

These and other life questions will be addressed Sunday morning as “The Gathering Place Family” meets in the Washington High School Library for Bible Study at 9:30 and in the gymnasium at 10 a.m. for our Pre-Service Connection where we enjoy coffee, juice and donuts. Our Worship Service and Children’s Church then begins at 10:30 at 120 W. Court St. in Washington C.H.

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By John G. Pfeifer

Religion Columnist