Wednesday, October 10, 2012


It has been so awesome to watch the Orioles postseason run this past week. I've been able to go to both ALDS games at Camden Yards, which were both absolutely amazing. (Talk about an irresistible environment!) Sunday night's energy at the ballpark was tremendous, especially all the build up during the rain delay -- the place was ready to erupt. But with an 'epic fail' ninth inning, the yards fell silent by the end of the night.

If you don't know, Jim Johnson gave up five runs in the top of the ninth inning to put the Orioles behind 7-2, a hurdle they could not overcome in the bottom of the inning as they lost the first game of the series. Johnson led all of Major League Baseball in saves this year, and, although it wasn't technically a blown save, it was a terrible time to have a bad outing.

What is so great about the sport of baseball and, in particular, postseason play, is the opportunity to come right back the next day and do it again. Although JJ did not have what it took on Sunday night, he came out the very next day to retire the top of the Yankees lineup in 3-up 3-down fashion, striking out A-Rod to record a postseason save and level the series at 1-1.

A friend said to me a few weeks ago, "I love failure." He meant that he loves trying, innovating, risking and exploring (not losing), and with that inevitably comes failure. Johnson never would have recorded 52 saves this year if he didn't risk failure. We learn from our failures and in persevering, we go on to do greater things. I don't know if I would go on record as saying that I love failure, but I do hope that our Missions work can embrace the reality of failure and step out in faith nevertheless. Fear of failure is worthless (I'm preaching to myself here.) because failure is certain. If we're not failing, we're not risking anything. So let's just acknowledge it as not just a possibility but a probability, and be determined to get right back on the horse when we do.

I want to set high goals -- which means they might not always be reached
I want to try new things -- which means they might not always work out
I want volunteers to take on responsibilities -- which means people might fall through
I want our vision to be shockingly large -- which means God will have to come through

So what have you learned from failures in the past? Specifically in Missions?
What are the other benefits of failing? Is it hard to embrace failure as a reality?

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