He gave up 11 runs in the first inning. When the coaches moved him to the outfield, he dropped a ball and somehow managed to kick the ball behind him. It might have been the worst outing of baseball I’ve witnessed in a long time.
For a parent, sitting in the stands and watching your child fail…publicly…is excruciating. You want to rescue. Find a good excuse. Twinkle your nose and make yourself…and your child…disappear.
You woke up that morning with uncertainty about the state of that same child’s health. On Monday, my energetic sixteen year old sent me a text from school that read, “My heart is really hurting.” I wanted to write back, “Mine just stopped.” Three hours later we had good reports from the doctor about his tests, but a visit with the Cardiologist was needed. Having a family history including a heart disorder and a cousin who died at a young age, the two-day wait for the next appointment seemed like eternity. Aren’t these the kinds of things that are supposed to happen to other people? Can’t we just go back to yelling at him about missed homework and a messy bedroom?
Sitting in the baseball stands today after more good news from the Cardiologist (although we’ll still need to wait for the genetic testing to be completely sure), I realized failure is a beautiful gift. If you’re out on the field playing the game it’s because you’re still living. You have life in you. “Thank you, Lord, that my son has the ability to not throw hardly a single strike–but he can throw.” “Thank you, Lord, that he has the ability to try to yet miss catching that ball.” “And yes, Lord, thank you for giving him the ability and the encouragement to smack that last at bat into the outfield for a good solid hit.” “Thank you, Lord, for his life.”
Sometimes you need a week like this to put everything in perspective. Failure is not the worst thing that can happen. Being unable to try; unable to risk failure…that is far worse.
Go live. Fail. Give thanks that you can.