by Alex Hardt, Associate Pastor to Youth and Young Adults
But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.
-1 John 1:9
TIME TO REBOOT
One of my favorite shows growing up was called ReBoot, where a character named Bob tried to reset the things done wrong by the evil characters Megabyte and Hexadecimal. My inner tech geekiness fluttered with joy watching this animated show about technology. Bob, the main character, was always hoping that Megabyte and Hexadecimal could right their wrongs. In one episode, Bob teams up with Megabyte to save the world only to be betrayed by Megabyte at the end. As a kid I wondered if there was going to be a moment where Bob would give up hope because things were beyond repair? Is there ever a point where it is impossible to redeem what has been done?
During the Mid 90’s technology was on the rise for the general consumer. Video game systems were popping up everywhere, the growth of internet was skyrocketing, and personal computers were becoming a household mainstay. Toys like Legos were fighting against an ever more technological advanced consumer. In the mid 90’s Lego was on the verge of bankruptcy. Maybe the days of these blocks were over after more than 70 years?!? Lego didn’t fold, but instead decided to reboot themselves. Eventually, by cutting costs, improving processes, and developing new product lines, the company started to bounce back. In 2017 the company’s net profit was $7.8 billion, a far cry from bankruptcy of the 90’s.
TIME TO START OVER
As a Christian and a pastor, I read the Bible and it initially appears like one long narrative on failure. From the beginning, in Genesis, we find Adam and Eve failing at living out God’s command not to “eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil” (Genesis 2:17). Seriously, you had one job Adam and Eve! As the narrative progresses, we read how God’s chosen people, the Israelites, experience one failure after another, after another. It’s like they were stuck on repeat. Fast forward to the New Testament, when Jesus enters the scene, there is still no respite from failure. Instead, failure seems inherent in every narrative moving forward. Whether it was Peter denying Jesus (Luke 22:54-62), Paul persecuting Christians (1 Corinthians 15:9), or Disciples failing to heal (Mark 9:14-25), the Bible is full of failure.
Praise God that failure is not the end of the story! That we have a God so full of Grace and Mercy that every mistake we make can be redeemed. For every failure in the lives of people in the Bible, there is a God who is constantly in the process of taking failure and redeeming it into something life-giving. Rewind those stories of failure in the scriptures and you will see how God used the brokenness of people to bring about redemption in their lives. Failure doesn’t define who we are or what we are capable of. As I look at the biblical narrative, it seems that failure is an inevitable part of humanity. Failure isn’t the end of the road; rather it often seems to be the vessel through which God reaches into our lives to bring forth redemption.
“Our failures become the transforming work of God, a fertile ground that helps us live more in line with who he has created us to be.”- Rhett Smith
Maybe instead of running from our mistakes we embrace them, Reboot, and discover the redemptive power that God offers to us through Jesus Christ. And maybe instead of asking, “When is it too late to start over?”, we should be asking, “Am I ready for a reboot?”
Practically Speaking | How might we reboot?
- Recognize that failure is inevitable in our lives
- Reframe failure as an opportunity for growth. Joyfully surrender your failures over to God. Let Him navigate the difficulty of failure with you.
- Draw closer to God in our failures. Prayer, scripture, worship, small groups, and devotion. Be reminded of the narrative that when failure happens in the bible, God steps into that failure and redeems it.
- Pursue Forgiveness. God loves us regardless of our failures. Ask forgiveness from our Lord, Jesus Christ and find redemption.
Chasing Failure by Ryan Leak