A Big Fat Failure

I will be 50 this summer.

...which seems completely ridiculous. Fifty is OLD - and I don’t feel old.

But maybe that’s why I have been looking at my life lately and, having considered things so far, concluded that I am a big fat failure.

I have been fighting the idea. Mostly because it doesn’t make me feel very good. Well, I have been fighting the feeling all my life. I have always felt like that. Probably because I pretty much always have been.

But I look around now at other people my age, all the things they have achieved, all their stuff, their Ford Explorers, their nice houses, their vacations to - well, vacations ANYWHERE; how well their kids are doing; playing in the band, actually involved in school... and compared to all of that, the evidence is overwhelming.

I have failed at every turn.

So I was standing at the stove a little bit ago, making a box of store-brand macaroni and cheese. And I had to smile.

I really AM a big fat failure.

What can I say? There is no denying it. When it comes to the simple business of living, I am ridiculously bad at it.

And that moment of clarity was strangely freeing.

I have been under the weight of the frustration, the embarrassment, the despair and guilt of it all; and it was like I just said, “Yeah? So? Who really cares?! I am the only one, and I am beating myself up over it!”

And it was as if I just heaved the weight of it all off my shoulders. I could quit pretending it wasn’t true, quit fighting it, and just admit it.

And I laughed!

I am a big fat failure.

And it’s okay!

Now all of a sudden, instead of secretly envying and resenting everyone else’s success - I can celebrate it with them.

Good for them!!!

I feel much better.

A day or two later...

Okay, being a BIG FAT FAILURE isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.

I woke up Sunday morning with the same old crummy feelings again. I had to get up and get ready to teach Sunday school (a really great - but really small - group of teenagers), and then sing at the Contemporary Worship service.... and I just didn’t want to.


I didn’t feel joyful. I didn’t feel like praising God. I didn’t feel at all any sense of God’s goodness or blessing.

But then I did the best I could to remind myself that no matter how I felt at the moment, God still loves me. In fact, God loves with as great a love as he ever has or ever will. With as great a love there could ever be.

And that will never change.

No matter what I do, whether I am a big fat failure or a spectacular success - God’s loves me just the same.

The stuff I do, and how I feel about things, that is always changing. Sometimes I do pretty well. Sometimes not. Sometimes I am overwhelmed with a sense of God’s presence, and his incredible goodness. Sometimes I am not.

Things come and things go. Life is always changing. There are good times and there are bad times.

But God is always the same, yesterday, today and tomorrow.

He truly IS our rock.

Our rock that can never be shaken.

And that is what I really need to work at keeping in mind!

(a little note)

But how do I know all of that is really true, and not just wishful thinking?

How do I know God isn’t just going to get fed up with me one day and say, “Enough is enough!”?

Good question!

I put my hope in the fact that the Bible tells me that when I was at my very worst, Jesus died for me. Paul says in the Book of Romans, that “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” He died for my sins. Not just the little ones. The worst ones. All of them. No matter how bad.

He knew the worst of them. He knew the weight of them all. And still he gave his life for me.

That’s how I know his love for me will never fade. At my very worst he loved me enough to die for me.

God doesn’t care if I am a failure or not. I am sure he is disappointed when I don’t live up to his expectations. And I am sure it hurts. But he resolved all of that on the cross.

What he wants now, I am sure, is just that I never turn away from him.

What he wants, I am certain, is simply that I know his love for me, and that I always remain in it.

Psalm 40 (click here)

2004 Paul Dallgas-Frey

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