Tuesday, May 25, 2021
On Sunday, history was made. My favorite golfer, Lefty, became the oldest golfer ever to win one of the four major tournaments. It was an exciting afternoon for me.
Twelve days before the tournament, Phil Mickelson (Lefty) tweeted this.
“I’ve failed many times in my life and career and because of this I’ve learned a lot. Instead of feeling defeated countless times, I’ve used it as fuel to drive me to work harder. So today, join me in accepting our failures. Let’s use them to motivate us to work even harder.”
Those words put his win in the PGA Championship in perspective. Don’t let failures define you. Don’t quit. Refocus and keep striving to work even harder to succeed.
And he did.
The Apostle Peter knew what failure felt like. He had denied knowing Jesus three times prior to Christ’s crucifixion. He was miserably overwhelmed with grief. So much so that even after seeing Jesus alive again, he had gone back to his father’s boats and nets on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. He told several other disciples he was going fishing. He even convinced them to go with him.
John 21:2-3 “Simon Peter, Thomas (called the Twin), Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples were together. Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.”
I don’t think Peter intended this to be a leisurely fishing trip. I think he intended to leave the ministry and go back to the comfort of his previous career. His failures, and the perceived failure of the mission he had joined, drove him to want to quit. He was discouraged and filled with self-doubt.
I’ve been there, and so have you. We have all experienced personal failure, and to one degree or another we have all reacted by withdrawing into ourselves. Sometimes returning to our comfort zones is the only realistic option. Maybe the pain will go away if we go back to what we know.
So we sail out onto the waters of familiarity, hoping to catch a little bit of satisfaction, even if it takes all night.
But in the morning, after a futile night of fishing for favor, Jesus shows up. Jesus will always show up. No matter how fragile you are, Jesus gives strength. No matter how discouraged you are, Jesus gives hope. No matter how empty your nets, Jesus will fill them. Just because you messed up and feel unusable doesn’t mean Jesus won’t love you. Just because you failed doesn’t mean Jesus will fail you. Just because you give up doesn’t mean Jesus ever gives up on you.
So today, join me in accepting our failures. But before we simply motivate ourselves to work even harder, let’s embrace the forgiveness of Jesus, and let His love motivate us.