THE SUC­CESS OF FAIL­URE

Palawan Daily News - - Opinion -

Isn’t the ti­tle a con­tra­dic­tion in terms? You may be ask­ing your­self, and per­haps won­der­ing, how and where the writer got the au­dac­ity to post such a pre­pos­ter­ous head­ing. For in­deed, how could fail­ure be a suc­cess? Is there re­ally suc­cess in fail­ure? Some piv­otal ques­tions that could nudge us in our quest for that elu­sive dream called suc­cess.

Have you seen the faces of suc­cess? It has a thou­sand and one faces, you know. It is etched on the tired ex­pres­sion of a mother as she suc­cess­fully de­liv­ers her baby into this world de­spite the ex­cru­ci­at­ing pain she has to en­dure. It is in the smile of a teacher after a gru­elling day in school know­ing that she has done her best for her class. Suc­cess is in the joy­ful shout of an ex­am­i­nee who passes the bar after some sleep­less nights, not to men­tion the stress and anx­i­ety that usu­ally come with such kind of hur­dle. What about the cry of ju­bi­la­tion from a young man whose love has just been re­cip­ro­cated by the woman of his dreams after pur­su­ing her for years?

But where is suc­cess be­hind a failed mar­riage? Where is suc­cess after your school­ing has been in­ter­rupted on ac­count of an ill­ness that con­signs you to a hospi­tal? Or be­cause of de­pres­sion that sends you reel­ing in men­tal agony and con­fu­sion. Is there suc­cess after you have lost ev­ery­thing?

I can as­sure you, there is. I should know.

The Book of books, the Bi­ble, is re­plete with nar­ra­tives about THE SUC­CESS OF FAIL­URE.

Joseph, the dreamer, was sold into slav­ery by his own kin, im­pris­oned for a crime he didn’t com­mit, and by the looks of it, he would stay in that jail to rot and die. One can’t just imag­ine where suc­cess is in­side a prison cell. But there was one for Joseph as God’s in­ter­ven­tion led him out of that con­fine­ment to be­come the Prime Min­is­ter of Egypt. Yes, from prison to the palace! (Please read the ac­count in Ge­n­e­sis 37-41 )

You must be fa­mil­iar with Job’s story in the Bi­ble. After los­ing all his chil­dren, his wealth, and his pos­ses­sions to the en­emy, he was af­flicted with painful sores from the top of his head to the sole of his feet. Where would suc­cess be if you were Job? His friends blamed him and his wife told him in no un­cer­tain terms to curse his God. But Job re­mained stead­fast in his faith and God vin­di­cated him. Was Job a fail­ure? He lost ev­ery­thing, yes, but he didn’t lose sight of God.

We have read some sto­ries about the rich, the fa­mous, and the beau­ti­ful. They were in the pin­na­cle of suc­cess as the world counted them so. They had ev­ery­thing they could ask for­wealth, beauty, pop­u­lar­ity- but they ended up in mis­ery and even sui­cide.

Clearly, suc­cess is not de­fined by our wealth, our po­si­tion and pos­ses­sions, not by our awards, not by our con­nec­tions, not even by our in­tel­li­gence and good looks. It is mea­sured by our re­la­tion­ship with the Cre­ator and how we re­late and touch peo­ple around us with God’s love.

The great­est suc­cess of all time hap­pened on a lonely hill more than two thou­sand years ago. To the eye wit­nesses, it was the great­est fail­ure – to ex­pire in shame­ful, painful death. The en­emy of our soul must have laughed in tri­umph and to his heart’s con­tent as he viewed the Son of Man dy­ing on the cross. He failed to re­view the Scrip­tures in JOHN 3:16, “For God SO LOVED THE WORLD that HE GAVE HIS ONLY BE­GOT­TEN SON that whoso­ever be­lieves in Him shall not per­ish but HAVE EV­ER­LAST­ING LIFE. “And in COLOS­SIANS 1:14, “In whom we have REDEMP­TION through HIS BLOOD, even the FOR­GIVE­NESS OF SIN.”

This is THE SUC­CESS OF FAIL­URE!

SUC­CESS is when things and cir­cum­stances seem worst but you don’t just give up be­cause you know God is hold­ing you, lift­ing you up, and cheer­ing you to keep go­ing.

What is suc­cess for you?

For me, suc­cess is hav­ing God by and on my side as I ride out the many storms in my life.

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