It’s not just failure I fear, though. It’s the part where everyone sees me fail. That’s oftentimes what keeps me from stepping out. (Ah, hello, Pride!) God forbid I appear a fool to everyone.
But really, how bad is that? So we fail at something. Or appear to, anyway - God knows the end of our story, not us. So there’s a big chance that pride will be hurt, or that we will lose faith in ourselves. Ok, so what? Having pride and faith in ourselves is a big misdirection, anyway. The fact that we are going to fail sometimes is a given - if we never failed, than we would pretty much be God, wouldn’t we? But we’re not. He is.
So, say we finally get up the guts to step out and do something, and it doesn’t work. Now what? Are we going to decide never to step out again so we don’t have to go through that humiliation or heartbreak again? And - here’s a thought - is part of the issue that we think we’re entitled to succeed from the beginning? Maybe that’s why we had to learn to walk when we were babies. Babies don’t know enough to get embarrassed. They don’t say to themselves, “I have fallen down enough, I deserve to walk now or I just won’t try anymore.” Nope, they just have this little drive inside that makes them want to learn to walk, so they do.
And if something doesn’t work out how we wanted, how do we know it was a failure, anyway? We’re not privy to the whole story. We don’t see all the intricate workings, where all the little streams go after we pass them. What looks like failure to us may be producing something beautiful a ways downstream. Maybe from above it’s another tiny (and deliberate) brush stroke in what will be an amazing work of art. We just need to remember to have patience, AND the faith that God really does have our best interest at heart.
I think just as parents are sitting and rooting for their little one to keep trying, take that step, don’t stay down just because they fall, God must be rooting for us, too. If He put something in our hearts to do, it’s up to us to put aside the fear (and laziness, maybe...?), and do it. Just because we fall down doesn’t mean He means for us to stay there. It’s a learning process. So we fall. So we just get back up, maybe even having learned a little something new.
There’s freedom in that, isn’t there?