I have a handmade rough drawn 8 1/2 by 11 inch sized reminder on my wall. It reads: " The worst thing that will happen if you fail, is you will learn something." Some would argue that failures can lead to many nasty things and even death. However, most of our failures are small because the risks taken are small. Even so, when we walk with the Lord and follow his leading even dramatic failure is an opportunity for God's instruction and his refining of our lives.
I have often questioned if there is a thread that runs through my writing and my interests. As this months prompt asks, what projects, what writing makes my heart sing? I like to learn, which means research and experimentation. It means taking risks. As a result, I have drawn connections between seemingly unrelated objects, events or activities. Some inspire me or others. Some leave a "huh, what are you talking about," response as my attempt to explain falls flat. In either case I have a choice. I can stop or I can keep going. I can keep following my love of research and learning or I can let fear stop me from using the interests God has given me.
The simple, awkwardly written reminder draws on years of learning to walk in faith. We are told faith through God's spirit drives out fear. It allows us to take those desires that God gave us, those things that make our heart sing and let him use them to his glory. Even our failures can be used by him. This sentiment winds its way through much of my writing from essay to novel. It is a reminder that God is part of the story no matter what our circumstances are. We don't lose him when we fail. He knows we will fail but he never fails us.
In Mark 9, the disciples wonder why they can not drive out a demon. They tried to use what they learned to help others but it did not work. Jesus used that as a teaching moment. He used it to build the faith of all involved and he helped the boy who suffered at the hands of a demon. "LORD, I believe, help me in my unbelief." A simple statement. LORD I trust you, help me take this step. Teach me.
As I study, observe, read and write a recurring theme is to keep trusting, keep trying because God is walking with us even in our failures. He is teaching us and refining us. He gives us the reasons to let our hearts sing. Then he joins with our song.