Halloween is just around the corner, so I thought I would write about something super scary. Something that strikes fear in the hearts of men, a creature in the night that already has you in it’s death grip before you even know it…
No, it’s not MJ rising from the dead to resurrect Thriller (God rest his soul)….….but though you fight to stay alive, your body starts to shiver, for no mere mortal can resist, the evil that is:
That’s right, I said it. Need a new pair of pants? You will after this post :). And I am pretty sure you wet yourself from laughter…because who doesn’t think a cat with cheese on its head is funny?
All kidding aside, failure threatens us because it is real and inevitable. You can watch a horror movie and get a few startles when a zombie pops out from behind a corner, but you know zombies aren’t really real. Yet for failure…it’s not a question of if, but a matter of when…because it will happen to you. People don’t want to speak about their epic fails, like they’re some sort of personal Voldemort, which makes your personal failures appear that much more terrifying.
For most of us, some of the most frightening things we ever have to do is step out in faith and do something we fail at. At some point, we will be called to make that step.
Before I go further, I need to clarify that I am not of the mindset that you should say yes to every risky opportunity that arises just to have the “failure experience”, or that you have to be a total badass, but I wanted to point out a picture of what can happen when one completely “fails” to step out due to a life of complacency.
Recently, an article came across my Facebook wall from Matt Walsh’s blog. The post, entitled “My Child is Gifted. He’s Also 29, Unemployed, and Living In My Basement”, is Matt’s snarky response to a man’s comment about his parenting philosophy. The commenter, “Nick”, essentially believes that because his son was labeled “gifted”, he is therefore special and doesn’t need to deal with chores (apparently, only crazy, right-wing nutjobs make their kids do chores), work menials jobs to get experience, or even having to deal with living on his own. Nick further states that his son’s lack of ability to get a job and move out is due to the crappy economy. While the economy certainly is horrible, Nick Jr.’s lack of initiative is troubling. Nick Jr. portrays the ultimate Prodigal Son (Luke 11:13).
This post got nearly 700 comments. The vast majority of them were from people spouting about how they are such hard workers, or how their kids are hard workers, or how liberals are lazy and how Nick Jr. is such a mooch. Ironically, many these commenters all thought they were “gifted” in some fashion because they were “better” than Nick. Out of all of those comments (shamefully, I read many of them), someone brought up an interesting point:
“The only disadvantage to being gifted, is that at an early age you get used to to everything being easy. It makes you lazy, because for a long time you can get with being lazy and no one really knows. So it’s a disadvantage if you let that catch up with you as an adult and you can’t bear to do anything you are automatically good at…The thing gifted people need to spend the most time actively practicing, is dealing with failure.”
- Kristen inDallas, commenter
Being afraid to fail will ultimately result in epic fail.
1 Peter 5:6 states: “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, so that He may lift you up in due time.” Humility is not self-deprecation, but allowing yourself to be molded, teachable…to be OK with not being inherently awesome. Unfortunately for many Millennials like Nick Jr., it’s been a bitter pill to swallow when so many were told they were “special.” But Biblically….we are.
Romans 12:6 says we are all gifted: “We all have different gifts, according to the grace given us.” Furthermore, we must “use these gifts in proportion to our faith.” Therefore, the more faith we have in our gifts, the more likely we’re going to see them manifest. Faith becomes refined by the fires of testing and trials (1 Peter 1:7), and the wisdom gained from experience (aka life’s general craziness). However, if our “giftedness” is not challenged, and we become complacent, we could all become Nick Jr.’s sitting in our underwear playing World of Warcraft.
As cliche as it sounds, we grow when we face adversity. When that zombie pops out from behind the corner and says “BRAAINNNS!” … we grow. We need to challenge our brains and our mindsets, strengthen them, and stretch them….or else, risk becoming incapacitated, a shell of your former self, and depending on others’ BRAAINNNS to keep you alive. As people who were given gifts by grace, this is not how God designed us.
The scary story does have a happy ending. Even the Prodigal Son got redemption, but he endured fear and adversity. He humbled himself, doing something would not dream of doing (feeding pigs), but was eventually welcomed back into his Father’s home (Luke 15: 14-20).
It is not too late for Nick Jr., or for anyone who feels like a Nick Jr., to seek opportunity to stretch their faith so they can grow. But I’m not going to lie…you’ll be running for your life inside that Thriller….thriler…THRILLAH! Hee hee!! Ooooh!