|“Be strong and very courageous.”|
No one who starts down the road of a particular task wants his or her efforts to end in failure. It is quite normal to want to succeed, even to succeed brilliantly.
But in order to learn how to keep in the very center of the one-way road that leads to success, it almost inevitably means that the person on the road will need to experience failure. There is no more powerful teacher than failure.
One of the concerns about our current culture where every participant in a contest gets a “prize” is that we are denying those participants the opportunity to learn from their own failures.
As a child, I fancied myself as having a career as a baseball pitcher. I read everything I could get my hands on about baseball pitching. I studiously watched baseball on our black and white TV, paying close attention to the pitchers. I saved my weekly allowance of a dime (yes, a dime) for months until I could raise half the cost of a pitcher’s glove. I spent hours in my back yard throwing practice pitches through an old tire.
The only problem: I had no batter to receive my pitches. As I’ve explained before, I grew up in a neighborhood where there were no other children. Alas, when I finally faced a real batter, he hit my one and only pitch over the centerfield fence. The coach immediately replaced me.
I learned a very valuable lesson from that experience: reading is not doing; practicing anything without a real scenario isn’t effective.
Many years later as a fire protection engineer, when I would audit an industrial plant’s emergency preparedness plan, I could immediately tell whether the emergency drills actually exercised the plan. Far too many drills did not realistically test the emergency preparedness of the facilities the plans were designed to protect.
When God chose Joshua to take Moses’ place and lead the Israelites into the Promised Land, He outlined for Joshua His formula for success. Notice what God says in Joshua 1:7-8:
“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.
“Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”
Notice how integral God’s Word is to success. “Keep it on your lips. Meditate on it day and night.”
Let’s make the study and application of God’s Word a key element in our own quest for spiritual maturity and the guarantee of our success.