Days 9&10: A thousand times I’ve failed
Lent Day 9 / Day 10 / Second Sunday of Lent
Listening to Hillsong Worship on my commute to work (getting hyped for Tuesday night’s Empires tour concert in Ontario!) and this song came up; THIS SONG, which since high school and for so many years has had a deep hold on me. And this morning the haunting melody’s very first line speaks to me in a peculiar, only-God-knows way:
A thousand times I’ve failed; still Your mercy remains.
This weekend, I have epically failed. I’ve been messing up big time. I missed out (or rather, was being lazy/uninspired) on writing the last two daily Lenten posts; my biggest accountability challenge to myself this season. I skipped out on the gym for no reason other than sheer exhaustion. I accidentally snapped at somebody, and said something I definitely shouldn’t have. I carelessly misplaced a necklace I really liked, and then I focused on such a worldly thing. I was late to a meeting. I under-estimated, and over-worried. I spent too much money for no reason. I forgot to be patient, to be present, to be gentle — with others, & especially to myself. I failed to prepare, which is preparing to fail.
I forgot to show mercy.
I cannot list all of these failures, sins, the things that have made me human, without running out of fingers on both hands. I can’t possibly count all of my failures, because they are a thousand times too great.
And the thing is, God’s mercy remains — God still somehow loves me, even when (especially when) I forget to love myself.
The thing is, Lent is that exact time when we begin to open ourselves up to the healing & transforming grace of God; a God who promises to take us up to heaven where He lives, and to give us eternal life better than anything we could ever have here on Earth (riches, fame, glory, a well-used world passport, a brand new house, 250k followers on my blog). These little things are nothing compared to what God has for us — and how often do I forget that, when I am too busy focused on my own selfish needs & on getting everything done, and done right.
The thing is, I will inevitably fail. I will be unmotivated to write sometimes. I will forget to be kind & considerate to others, to show love to those in my own household. I will not have the perfect resume or track record. As human me, I will mess up — a thousand times, I’ve failed. And His mercy still remains, a thousand times over.
“Join with others in being imitators of me, brothers and sisters, and observe those who thus conduct themselves according to the model you have in us. / For many, as I have often told you and now tell you even in tears, conduct themselves as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction. Their God is their stomach; their glory is in their ‘shame.’ Their minds are occupied with earthly things.
But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we also await a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. He will change our lowly body by the power that enables him also to bring all things into subjection to himself.” (Philippians 3:17–4:1)
God doesn’t care that I skipped the gym twice last week, or took an extra 5 minutes on that last mile. God doesn’t mind that I forgot to prepare for my meeting last night, and completely winged it (thanks for equipping me with the exact words I needed to say, G!). God sees when I feel worthless, incomplete, not good enough; and He still loves me. In fact, He tells me to keep going — to “be imitators of me,” and even to “be perfect, as your holy Father is perfect.”
He asks me to keep going, even when I am not motivated, weary, and feeling pretty un-merciful. Even when I can’t see the road ahead, He tells me to keep trekking, climbing, and yes, failing...because whatever’s up ahead, up above, is sure to be amazing.