I remember watching my children learn to walk. They’d stand, and then cruise the furniture. It took at while, but eventually they got up enough nerve to let go of the couch and take a wobbly step or two before they’d plop down on their backsides (if they were lucky!).
It looked painful. I think I’d be in traction for a week if I fell that hard on my derriere.
My son was more determined than my daughter. He would fall and get right back up. And fall again. He was like a bouncing Energizer Bunny. Nothing would stop him from getting right back on his feet.
My daughter was different. Every attempt to walk, followed by the inevitable fall, was a Shakespearean tragedy. She would yelp and wail like she had been electrocuted, and then wouldn’t try again for a few days.
Fade to learning to ride a bike…
Basically, it’s the same procedure. I’d hang on to the back of their bike seat while they pedaled down the sidewalk. Hopefully, they’d get up enough momentum to glide when I let go, but that was never guaranteed. There were plenty of wobbles, crashes and slow-mo tip overs. But still, they kept at it until they were sailing down the sidewalk, grins a mile wide on their faces.
In the end, they both learned to walk and ride a bike. They both had to suffer the hard bumps of failure, decide to try again, and then begin the process one more time.
There’s just something inside our children that moves them from sitting to crawling to walking. And from walking to riding a bike. I suppose they learn a lot by watching other children, but I also think that’s how they’re wired. Like the urge to eat and sleep, the call to walk and move is deep and primal. Failure doesn’t crush their spirits for very long.
As adults, we can lose sight of that primal call to courage and change. Failure hits hard, and we wonder if we’re supposed to keep trying. If someone sees us fall? Now embarrassment crawls in on top of feeling useless and unable.
Sometimes, having more worldly experience can be a negative.
Children fail, get frustrated and then try again. Adults fail, and now it’s less about the goal, and more about all the ways we tell ourselves “this might not be for me.”
I wonder why we’re so good at talking ourselves out of things when we are capable of doing more than we could ever imagine. Like our children, it’s going to take an investment of time and experience. Not to mention falling on our backsides. But we absolutely can overcome.
If God is calling you from deep inside to do something for Him, don’t let failure stop you. Let that calling lead you to rise up and try again every time you trip and fall. That strength is in you.
When you finally succeed, you’ll run and ride like the wind.
Your Father will be so proud…
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