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Failure Through A Graceful Lens

Nobody likes to fail, especially in a society where success and winning means so much. But maybe we need to look at "failure" in a different way. Time and a different perspective often make supposed failures into something else. For example, Columbus started out to find a new route to India. He failed. But his failure was the discovery of the Americas. In 1872 a drought shriveled a farmer's entire crop of grapes. His harvest was a failure. But what he was left with didn't taste too bad so he marketed them as "Peruvian delicacies" and we've been enjoying raisins ever since. A failure became a success. An old Chinese story expresses it like this. There was a landowner who had a large estate. One day a large herd of wild horses worth a fortune wandered on to his property. His neighbors gathered to congratulate him on his good luck. Stoically, he remarked, "How do you know that I am lucky?" One of his sons was later thrown off a horse trying to tame it breaking his leg. His neighbors consoled the man on his misfortune. He asked "How do you know I have been unfortunate?" Later, the King declared war and the man's son was exempted from military duty due to his injury. The neighbors said how fortunate the man was and he inquired again "How do you know I am fortunate?" In a similar way, all of us can look back on some happy experiences which later on tuned out to be not so happy after all or had bad days that down the road turned into blessings. What a failure was the death of Christ, until it became the Resurrection. So let us each day do what we can with what we have where we are. Even an apparent failure with the grace of God can lead to something wonderful.


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