Wednesday, July 31, 2013

No Fail Brownies Will Trick You

I woke at 3am remembering my mother's love for a No Fail Brownies Recipe and it set off a train of thoughts about what is so appealing with this recipe.  Mainly ladies are looking for something that is guaranteed to please and to work every time.  So I looked up the recipe this morning and what did I find?  The last sentence of the directions stated, "Do not over bake".  Wait a minute!  Do you mean to tell me that I can fail at making "No Fail Brownies"? All I have to do is over bake?  By how long?  Two minutes?  Five minutes?  That seems to be cutting it close between success and failure!  What if my thermostat is a little off on my oven?  I think I will avoid making them because I might fail, and then what?  Will I be the first person who has failed at No Fail Brownies?  How devastating!  No, not really.

Failure is part of being human and attempting to do things we wish to accomplish!  If I asked you to make a list of everything you can think of where we might fail, the list would be, as the child said in the AT&T commercial, "infinity times infinity plus one!"

So what do we do? Do we refuse to try?  Of course not!   If we were a magnificent sailing ship safe in harbor would we remain tied up and never leave the shore for fear of a storm or a torn sail?  Of course not!  What's the use in being a mighty ship if not to sail the seas? 
Fear of failure can be a paralyzing thought that limits us from experiencing the life we have been given and the gifts we were meant to share.

Will our friends and relationships fail us?  We know they will.  It doesn't matter how many things you find in common with each other and how much affection and admiration and love grows between you, there will be moments of failure in relationships.  Do we decide not to love, again, or to make a new friend?  Of course not!

What we fear is not failure itself, it is the disappointment and in some cases, disillusionment that follows.  Feeling disappointment and disillusionment lead to so many other feelings of self-doubt, self-pity and self-criticism.  Oh why did I do this?  I should have known better!

What we may forget  is we are all going to fail at tasks and relationships in our lives.  They are stepping stones to improving our ability for self-growth, making better choices and constantly readjusting our own thoughts about what and who we love, what is good for us and what we can do next time to do even better.

Failure is a normal part of life.  It is a form of mental and emotional and physical compass that tells us where we are in our life and how we can adjust our path.  As we grow older, our compass lets us know things are changing.  When we were kids we could, as my dad said, "Shin-y up a tree!"  It wasn't a question of whether we could do it or not, but how fast we could get to the top!   Now, as adults, the challenge of climbing a tree might set us up to fail the task.  Do we go into a state of self-contempt?  Or do we use the failure as a gift of an inner compass letting us know our limits and our abilities.  Do we stop attempting any challenge because climbing the tree is no longer doable?  If that's our mindset, we may as well be that glorious, seasoned sailing ship forever moored at the dock, never to test its seaworthiness and love of sailing, again.

Friends and those we love will fail us, disappoint us and possibly hurt us for days or weeks to the point where we have to sever our ties.  Again, it is senseless to avoid all relationships for fear of failure.  We simply must reassess our own needs from friends and loved ones and reevaluate our guidelines for what we will accept from others and what we have to give.  

We are forever changing as we traverse life's seas.  Storms may come and threaten us and cause us to fear or to feel disappointment, but an adjustment in our compass will lead us to calmer waters and we can continue on in this adventure of life.

There is no such thing as a "No Fail" Brownie or a no fail relationship.   There is no sea that can be sailed without storms and challenges and threats to our comfort zone of being safe and secure.  Once we accept that and understand that failure is nothing more than an opportunity to see how strong we are and how we can adjust to improve our lives and be wiser than we were, we will not fear failure.  Failure serves as our compass home.

Go, love life!  It is a gift to us in which we can care for and touch the lives of others.  We were never meant to be isolated.  

The only relationship that will never fail us is the one we have with Christ our Lord and Savior.  He will never fail us in whatever we experience.  If you are searching for a guaranteed, no fail relationship, He is your answer.  Will we fail Him from time to time?  It's a given.  Will we claim we do not hear His answers to our prayers?  Yes.   Will we be confused when we feel He did not help and we have no understanding of the "why" to answer our questions?  Yes.  But the wonderful news is that He will never fail us.  He is our friend, our guide, our light. 

Be brave, love life and accept the fact that we will experience failure, but we will never be alone.  Our Lord is with us through all disappointments and all storms.  What have we to fear?

Psalm 27:1

The LORD is my light and my salvation-- whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life-- of whom shall I be afraid?

2 Timothy 1:7

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

Deuteronomy 31:6

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you."

Dear Heavenly Father,
You have given us so many gifts and such a beautiful world.  Shore up our courage with your loving strength.  Keep us ever mindful that whatever failures, disappointments or fears we face , you will never leave us.  You will never fail us or forsake us.
In Jesus' Precious Name we pray,

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