I am a super-charged, multi-tasking agent dedicated to beating out my attention deficit with VISION rather than Ritalin. The upside to this need for operating at the speed of light is high PRODUCTIVITY, a propensity for engaging the IMPOSSIBLE, and the DRIVE to make the impossible become every day VICTORY. The downside of extreme highs is struggle in the midst of DEFEAT. Failure is the perfect storm for invasive DEPRESSION, and stifling life under a blanket of DISCOURAGEMENT. It is a fight to simply breathe, relax, and not hang self-worth on the hat rack of success. REST is not an end goal, nor is it a nap along the way. Rather, rest is necessity in the battle for PERSPECTIVE – seeing that failure does not equate to defeat unless one chooses to ignore the always faithful discipline and instruction of the Holy Spirit. FAILURE will always be crucial in the formula for SUCCESS, especially when encountered with the Holy Spirit as one’s guide.
“Poke the Box” by Seth Godin offers diverse vantage points on the value of failure in relation to the spectrum of success. One specific idea gleaned from the book is how necessary it is to take time for reflection. It is all too easy for teaching moments to be missed as one zips down the fast track of success. Pause, breathe, and set aside time at each month’s end to reflect on God’s activity personally, in life, and in ministry. The experiment is incredible! The only must have for the trip down memory lane is a traveling companion – the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is our guide, counselor, teacher, and strength. Taking time to reflect without mindfully inviting the presence of the Holy Spirit will stunt spiritual growth.
In three months we celebrate the two year anniversary of Villages Community Church’s launch. As I reflect upon the journey, it is easy to fixate upon the downs and not celebrate the ups. The Holy Spirit firmly and gently reminds me “Enough is enough. Build a bridge and get over it!” I am not sure if it is the house cleaning of my heart or what, but a film of grime somehow can encase my perspective of God’s activity. Imagine a pig wallowing in a muddy pen and then tracking the mess into his farmer’s cotton white home. In these moments the Holy Spirit faithfully reveals that my perspective is was who I am choosing to be rather than who I am destined to be. In these moments of clarity I am reminded of that joyful Christmas Carol “Do You See What I See?”. God’s intention for illuminating the darkness of our souls is not to lord our failures over us like a destructive bomb waiting to drop. God brings revelation so that we can see what He sees – redemption, revitalization, and repurposed life in Christ. The reason for the season is Jesus Christ, and reflection on God’s activity always clarifies our perspective and captivates our gaze once again.