Winners and Losers – Still Being Broken
Key Bible Verse: We are the clay, and you are the potter. We are all formed by your hand. – Isaiah 64:8
Then came the raft trip. Everything went wrong. Food was lost. Tired men’s tempers flared. When it was over, Mac did something he’d never done. He cried. “My ministry,” he told his wife, “is over.”
“Your ministry,” she corrected, “has just begun.”
“What I realized that day, for the first time, was that it’s okay to fail. Okay to be vulnerable. All my life, my dad had taught me to keep my chin up. Why? So I could have his approval.” Some of that, Mac discovered, is good: the will to persevere, for example. But taken to extremes, it leads to frustration, because everyone must fail on occasion.
As a son, Mac began allowing himself to be broken, allowing God to compensate for his shortcomings instead of simply trying harder. But as a father, not able to see the same blind spot in himself that he saw in his father, he continued to ask the impossible of his sons.
Finally one of Mac’s sons confronted him, and the two wound up going to a counselor. Mac confessed to his sons that he hadn’t been the father they needed. He began building them up with genuine praise. For the first time, he loved them with no conditions attached.
—Bob Welch in A Father for All Seasons
My Response: What was it that Mac’s wife perceived before he did?
Thought to Apply: Success is relative. It is what we can make of the mess we have made of things.—T.S. Eliot (U.S.-born British poet)
Adapted from A Father for All Seasons (Moody, 1997)
Prayer for the Week: Lord, move me beyond the world’s definition of failure and success to the only one that counts—Your definition.