Hidden Nuggets Series #62 – “I would have lost heart, unless I had believed…That I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart…” – Psalm 27:13-14
Like some of you I’ve been watching the World Series for the last two weeks. My team is not in it so I’m not 100% engaged. But Kansas City is a fun, Cinderella story and my uncle likes San Francisco so I have a passing interest in what is going on.
What’s always intrigued me about baseball is how these men deal with failure. Imagine if you failed 75% of the time you tried to accomplish something. Hard to fathom isn’t it? You’d probably give up and at the least have a negative perception of yourself.
Yet that’s what happens to the average baseball player. A .275 batting average is considered respectable in the Major Leagues. Those who hit over .300 for 20 years likely have a chance at the Hall of Fame. It’s remarkable that those enshrined as the game’s best were beaten by the pitcher 7 out of 10 times.
In order to deal with that much failure I’ll bet they have several things going for them:
a short memory…
stubbornness (to continue)…
Where Does Your Strength to Believe Come From?
What keeps a baseball player moving on? How do they come back to the plate after having struck out the time before? Why do they deal with being sent down to the minors? What keeps you throwing the ball after giving up 7 runs in one inning as the Giants pitchers did in Game 6?
It’s the belief that they can do better.
I’ve failed at many things in my life. Sometimes I fail daily for multiple days in a row. It’s in those times that discouragement comes and blares its horn at me to give up. Often it even tells me I’m good for nothing.
Why deal with all the pain? What’s the point of putting myself into that setting again and again? Wouldn’t there be a better alternative than to face these life situations that keep beating me up?
I keep moving on because of my belief that I too can do better. And I know there is someone who can help me with that.
When my continual failure produces a mentally weak state, I rely on words like these from the Bible:
“I would have lost heart, unless I had believed…That I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart…” – Psalm 27:13-14
God’s promise to strengthen my heart is an encouragement. It may take awhile (wait on the Lord) and it will require courage. And of course it requires me to be in the “land of the living.”
I take the phrase “land of the living” to mean that I’m still trying. No one’s spirit is living if they’ve given up. It’s dead. Cold. Unwilling to go on. How can goodness come when there is no effort?
The answer is that it can’t.
Believe in Yourself and Keep Moving On
Do you believe in yourself enough to keep moving on…to keep battling when you continually swing and miss? Do you have the courage to face failure again and again? Can you draw strength from God or from somewhere to keep moving forward?
Don’t let your setbacks make you feel like a failure. We are never going to hit 1.000. But it is the belief that I could succeed every time that keeps me trying.
Just ask the Giant’s how they feel now after Game 7. Bet they are glad they kept trying.
Questions: How does failure make you feel? How do you combat getting down on yourself after a failure? What or who strengthens you? What do you do to get moving on after a failure?