Worship at Madison Street United Methodist Church
Madison Street United Methodist Church gathers for worship each week in the Sanctuary on Sundays. Click for times.
The Bible is full of stories about people who were faithful, obedient, gave it everything they had but did not succeed, like Moses whom we are learning about in our Wednesday Bible Study on Exodus. You may remember that Moses never actually made it to the Promised Land himself. Would you say that Moses failed?
I think there are some important lessons we can learn from folks like Moses. One of those important lessons is that we are not called necessarily to be successful. Now I like to succeed, and I know I’m not alone. And it’s a good feeling to put everything you have into a certain endeavor and watch it turn out well. But we are not called to succeed. We are called to be faithful. And there’s a difference.
There’s a powerful scene in the movie Chariots of Fire where the English runner, Harold Abrams, ran a race against the Scottish champion, Eric Liddell, and loses for the first time. It was devastating to him. The pain of failure was so severe he decided he’d never race again.
His girlfriend, Cybil, said, “Harold, this is absolutely ridiculous. You lost a race, not a relative. Nobody’s dead.”
Harold said, “But I lost.”
She said, “I know, I was there. You were marvelous. He was more marvelous, that’s all. On that day the best man won.”
“Well, that’s that,” Abrams says.
And Cybil responds, “If you can’t take a beating, perhaps it’s for the best.”
“I don’t run to take beatings. I run to win!” Harold shouts. “If I can’t win, I won’t run.”
Cybil pauses, and then says to him firmly, “If you don’t run, you can’t win.”
Have you ever given it everything you had, went outside your comfort zone, did what you thought Christ was calling you to do, and still things didn’t work out? It can be devastating. And it doesn’t seem fair. It’s painful. But it’s not failure. Failure is when we refuse to run the race.
Isn’t it true that our calling in the church is to be faithful? To go where Jesus calls us to go. We may not always success. But that’s not failure.
Failure is refusing to follow!
Cliff C. Wright, Jr.