Failure, mess-ups, and love
Last Sunday night I was standing in the back hall waiting for the choir to file out. I had only been in the back line once before, but I knew the drill. The only way to know when you’re supposed to file out is to keep peeking out of the door to see when the other row started. I peeked out once. Nothing. Then promptly forgot my job. Yup. Even though it was about 30 seconds till church was supposed to start, I forgot to look out again. I got laughing at some story being told. Just enjoying myself like the fate of the back row didn’t rest on me. Suddenly, I thought to open the door and look out. There stood the other half of the choir in their nice neat row. The director was waiting behind her music stand, the pianist had already started in the intro. And our row was completely empty. I practically ran out the door, not looking to see if anyone else could keep up. Its a good thing I don’t wear heels or I would’ve added falling on my face to my embarrassment. The pianist had to completely restart the intro. Horrors. Not only that, but in my haste, I threw open my music until I realized that everyone else was calmly standing with their music closed, waiting for the director. Like the good choir people do. So I shut it at the precise moment she told everyone else to open theirs. I tried telling myself that it was Sunday night, not morning at least. Everyone knows that Sunday night is more relaxed and errors are more acceptable. That in the grand scheme of life, this was not that big of a deal. And on and on I talked to myself, trying to not feel absolutely horrible. But horrible it was. I felt terrible. Like a complete failure. Not only that, but one of the church staff members teased me about it right on the platform and I told him to shut up. In church. To a staff member. Although, I really can’t bring myself to feel like that was a complete failure. He kind of deserved it and he’s way younger than me. And earlier last week, I was helping with the church website. I’ve basically sworn off anything complicated to do with church websites for the rest of my entire life. But this was just changing the theme on WordPress. I knew I could do that. So I got my computer, camped out in my bed - my office these days until we move - and installed the new theme. Which basically takes the website down to nothing until you build it back up. I distinctly remember thinking, what if I fail at this? These people don’t even love me yet. They hardly know me, let alone love me. What if I totally mess this up, can’t fix it, and I will be known as a failure.
And that’s when it occurred to me.
We’re all just looking to be loved.
And when we mess up, we feel like no one will love us. So I had to have a little talk with myself. Some days we just need to preach a little truth, right? Because we forget so easily. In the middle of stressful situations, in the middle of our mess-ups, when we do actually fail big time, this is when the lies start. We allow the lies to tell us that we are the sum of our mess-ups, that no one loves us, that we are not worthy of God’s love.
But that is just not the truth that is in God’s word. God loved us first. Before we ever did a thing for Him. He died for us while we were yet sinners. We don’t have to earn His love. He loves us more perfectly than anyone ever could, every day, every minute, through every mess-up, every failure. So rest assured in His love today. Even if you messed up the choir, or cooked a dinner so bad you had to feed it to the dog (which I also did last week), or yelled at the kids again, or just generally feel like you’re failing at life. God loves you no matter what.