Falling short of the goal line doesn’t mean failure. It means you get back up and try again.
Posted in , Jan 28, 2016
A roar of cheers erupted in the stadium as the football player ran down the field with the ball tucked tightly under his arm. He weaved deftly between members of the opposing team and leaped over a fallen player. He shook off the mountain-sized man who grabbed him by the shoulder, continuing down the field. It was as if his feet had wings.
The fans were standing now, giddy with excitement, certain that he was headed for a touchdown. But then he fell down only a foot or two before he would have crossed the line to success. Almost there . . . but not. A collective groan was heard throughout the stadium. This was a huge game with a slot in the Super Bowl at stake, so emotions were even higher than normal.
I suspect that this thought ran through that player’s mind as he realized he’d fallen short of making a touchdown: I’m a failure. And I’m sure many of the spectators at the stadium and viewers on television felt the same way.
And then the thought entered my mind: that’s what we all do. We set a goal for something we want to accomplish for God. We train for it, we pray about it, we work for countless hours, and then we run hard for the finish line to achieve our goals, fighting off those who would defeat us along the way.
And then we fall short. We tell ourselves, “I’m a failure.” Just as I imagine that football player did.
But that moment where he fell wasn’t the end of the story. He didn’t quit. He jumped up and joined his team members in the huddle. Moments later they started the next play—and this time, the ball made it over the goal line. Touchdown!
Whenever we face obstacles, we can put two things into play that I learned from that football game:
1) Don’t quit. Even when you feel like you’ve failed. Get up and keep going.
2) Support your team members. Just as his fellow teammates rallied around that player and helped achieve the touchdown, we need to support each other.
When we see someone who is struggling, instead of tearing them down and thinking of them as failures, we can accomplish so much more by encouraging them and working with them to achieve their goals.
A touchdown in a Super Bowl play-off is awesome. Making the goal for God in our game of life? Well, there aren’t even words to describe that.
Are you discouraged today because it seems you’ve failed? Get up and keep going. God can do amazing things if we’ll just trust Him.