Thursday, 25 July 2013


I want you to fail. Not all the time. Hardly at all actually. But unless you're trying, stretching, striving, and seeking to reach your fullest potential, you're almost certainly not failing enough! The path to success is paved with failures! And in Tasmania, we are surrounded by a culture that hates to fail. Ironically, this guarantees that we rarely succeed like we should! Fear. Fear of change. Fear of failure. Fear of hard work. Fear of facing challenges. If you want to be a success you must overcome these fears and occasionally fail!

As a believer you should be used to failing - because you are striving to be all God wants you to be beyond where you are currently. Yet, as you've experienced, you are not yet who you will fully be. Along God's journey for your life your sense of who God has made you to be grows. This sense of identity is honed by our failures. I think I am something but after continual repeated miserable failures I realise I am not. On the hand, I become curious about another pursuit, try it, fail, learn from it, grow my curiousity about it, keep trying and eventually succeed. Without a preparedness to fail you can never succeed.
For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.
First Timothy 4:10
One of the people I've been coaching was presented to me when she was 5 (she is now 12). At just 5 years of age her potential as a champion tennis player was obvious. But she had some obstacles to overcome. She had a number of dietary restrictions (dairy, nuts, gluten) which has meant that we have had figure out how best to fuel and build her. But by far her biggest disadvantage, and her severest handicap, is her perfectionism. Nothing has come close to causing the damage that this wretched disease has done to her. Two weeks ago, durng the school holidays, we trained together two hours a day. (We had previously only ever done one hour sessions a couple of times a week.) She was training for the try-outs to represent Tasmania - only the best of best girls would be chosen - and she was determined to be one of them. But she had tried-out last year and failed.

This year she was determined. When failure comes knocking, send Determination to answer the door! She knew that in order to reach her potential she had reach. Our training session were brutal. One earlier morning our court was covered in black ice and the temperature was still around 1ÂșC  then it started raining. But she continued to train. The day before the lead-up tournament to the try-outs, we trained even harder and did so under match conditions. While I felt like a bully, I beat her to 'love' in three of the five sets we played and only conceded three games. She got in her Mum's car after our session and cried. She had once again tasted failure on the eve of everything she had been working so hard for. But the next day, she brought her door-greeter with her (Determination) and dished out a few lessons of her own. Then in the try-outs she earned her place onto the State Team to represent Tasmania in Brisbane in October. Without facing failure she could never have succeeded. After her try-outs I told her that she played an almost perfect game. "But I made so many mistakes!" I then explained that under match-conditions she was always going to make mistakes. Whenever you are trying to succeed there will always be failures along the way.
"Strive to enter through the narrow door. For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able."
Lke 13:24
Tasmania desperately needs people to strive toward fulfilling their potential. They are created by God to do so. There are Tasmanians whose destinies involve learning what's necessary to find cures for 'incurable' diseases. There are Tasmanians who have a destined purpose to produce art, music, literature that will literature mold a generation and change the course of history. There are Tasmanians who have a destiny to start businesses that provide cost effective solutions to those in need. There are Tasmanians who are called by their Creator to be in Government and positions of civic responsibility that will ensure that our State can prosper and flourish. There are Tasmanians whom God is calling to be a vital part of a local church that will grow bigger than anything the culture currently says is possible - not merely a church of dozens, or even hundreds.
And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. 
Second Corinthians 9:8
Will you fail? Will you be who God has called you to be? Will you answer your fears' door-knocking by sending Determination to answer the door? Will you give your life so fully to Christ that you are prepared to humbly take your position in the picture that Christ is presenting to the world? Today, pictures are generally made up of small dots called 'pixels'. The bigger and more detailed the picture, the smaller and the greater the number of pixels required. One of the problems we have in Tasmania is that too many pixels want to be the picture - not make up the picture. Jesus is the 'Picture'. Not us. 

Because we don't want the picture of our lives visible to the world to look bad, we refuse to join the other pixels who are striving to form the grandest picture they can of Christ. This fear of failure then impacts directly on our spiritual health. But just as John The Baptist said, I must decrease and He must increase (John 3:30). Please fail more. Please. Tasmania urgently needs Christians who have tasted, learned from, and overcome failures - who understand that life is not about them and their needs. In other words, it's not that we want or need you fail as if that is the end of the story. Failure for winners is never the end of the story. Failure for winners is the schooling, strength, and strategy for success. And Tasmania must have you succeed beyond anything you've ever enjoyed thus far. Your success is our success. But wait, I hear a knock at our door. Shall we answer it? Or shall we send our Door-greeter?

Ps. Andrew

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