The Joy in Failure

I will be the first to admit I don’t like to lose. With that being said I have lost more in life than I have won. When I played sports in school I was always on the team that never won or during PE I was one of the last people to be picked on a team. To be honest it bothered me at times, but over time it was a badge of honor.

Over my life I have been management for companies and now run my farm and am a Pastor of two Churches. I have to admit that I am the happiest in my life than I have ever been.

Yesterday I was giving a huge and I mean huge glass of humility. On the farm we have been raising pigs and our goal was to send off our first three to be processed for meat. Monday we caught the pigs and it seemed like the hard part was done.

I was wrong.

I had my son and a few local friends over to help me load the pigs into the crate we built to take them to their final destination. This should have been easy, but it wasn’t because while I had everything I needed, I didn’t do one important step that would have lead to success. You see in order to get a 350 pound pig into a crate, you can’t just show up with one. You have to place it in front of them for a few days and put food and water in the crate. In essence you are making the crate a false oasis of hope and food. The pig gets used to it and then they go in on their own and boom! you got bacon.

Because I forgot this step, I failed. Not my son and friends, I failed due to an oversite that I should have had in place. Needless to say we regrouped and have rescheduled. Currently the crate is set up to make the oasis I mentioned before. This would fix the issues I caused yesterday.

I’ll be honest to write of such a failure is painful. I beat myself up most of the evening, but this morning I remembered that as over the years of farming and ministry I have made mistakes. The key however is I learned from them. I know I will fail and I also know I will succeed too.

I had to voices pop in my head as I was beating myself up. The first was my old theater boss Mr. Mckay. He was a good man, who would often say, “Moving forward”. I can still hear him saying that to me and others when we needed to possibly try something different.

The other voice was my old chaplain mentor who would say,” feel bad for 30 seconds, move on and learn.”

Both voices were true gifts from Jesus as I sit on my porch kinda paying attention to my seminary class, with a sense of peace.

I will, moving forward, take the wins and the losses as opportunities to get better and be able to teach my kids to be better people.

Hopefully next entry will be one where I share the pigs are gone, but if I fail again, at least I’m still learning.

Until next time… and thank God there’s always a next time

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