To borrow a line, “The best-laid schemes of mice and men oft go awry.” It happens and, in many cases, there is absolutely nothing we can do about it. Imperfect expectations!
As I have watched the beginning of the 2012 Olympic Games from London, I have been touched by the losers. So many of these young people have spent their entire lives practicing, working hard, and sacrificing for this one moment. They are as ready as they can be, yet something happens. Maybe something goes wrong in their performance that hasn’t before. Maybe someone else is just a little better on this particular day.
It used to be that those Olympians who had fallen short of their highest expectations could grieve and process their disappointment in quiet. However, with the technology we have today, the whole world is able to zoom in on the face of a teenager or twenty-something young person and watch the heartbreak that crosses their face and causes their body to tremble.
Very few of us live our lives as members of the clergy without disappointments and heartbreak. I think the question is, “What do you do when your dreams lie on the office floor like a scattered stack of newspapers?” I don’t have a fail-safe response, but one that I ask you to think about.
The sun will come up tomorrow. How you face the new day depends on how you finish this one. Consider the following suggestions:
- Confide in reliable people.
- Search your heart for any motivations that might appear selfish.
- Remember that, normally, your ministry does not rise or fall on one isolated event or circumstance.
- If you have made a mistake, apologize to the proper people or group.
- Don’t allow a perceived failure to drive a wedge between you and your family.
- Make your next move only after you have had some time to recover.
Bottom line: To those who love the Lord first and foremost, there will always be God’s way ... a better way. As Stan Toler and I said in The Minister’s Little Devotional Book, “He has chosen you to spread His Word! And whenever you do stumble, He will pick you up, brush you off, and set you back on track — brighter and smarter than when you started.”
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalm 147:3).
Be blessed today, whatever disappointments you may have to face.