Embracing Failure


The hoop of life looks a bit like this after you’ve been shooting for so long. This is a good hoop.

I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.
                                                                                                   –Michael Jordan

Failure has followed me around. And as I wallowed around in it again the last few days, I came across this quote from Michael Jordan and realized it was so true. Really true. When you take the risk to shoot the ball 9000 times, you are sure to miss quite a few. The more games you play the more chances you have of failing…but, on the flip side, the more practice you get, the more you learn, and the more you grow.  Growth is success. Not necessarily a job well done. Not always a swish. Instead, a backstop bouncing miss with five rebounds before you get it in the net.

I’m playing so many games right now that some shots are just going to be air balls. And I have learned this week that I need to give myself a little grace in the missed shot because I can’t stop playing. The stakes are too high and people are too important.

Justice, Injustice, and Grace

Do you see any signs saying this sidewalk is closed?

My son went running at the park in the evening. When he crossed the street his foot fell into a small, uncovered manhole. He tripped, tumbled, and rolled into a busy intersection. Thankfully, he didn’t break any bones and came away with only bruises and cuts on both his arms and legs.

What did he do?

He called the city to tell them about the accident and that the missing cover was a hazard to others. He received a call back this morning from Public Works.  Please choose from the following answers what you think the person from the city of Wheat Ridge said to my son:

A. We are so sorry. We’ll send a crew over to make sure that problem is taken care of. Thank you for letting us know.

B. We just finished redoing the sidewalk there and someone must have forgotten to put the cover back on.

C. That sidewalk is closed and clearly marked with signs. You should read better next time.

By now, you’ve probably guessed the answer is “C” or I wouldn’t be writing this post. My son came to them with grace…not demanding retribution…but with a pure heart to help others.  In return he was called a liar. Injustice.

It is yet another example of our broken messed up world.  Blame. Covering backs. Lying. I’m sick of it. What happened to grace? Sometimes it seems like the only two possibilities people see are justice or injustice. (And I’m not even sure people always know the difference.) How about another possibility? How about grace?

Grace is awesome.

Grace is giving and forgiving when you shouldn’t have to.

Grace is taking the time to tell the city the manhole cover is open while you stand there bleeding.

This world needs more grace. Why do we humans seem to hoard it or save it up for special occasions?

Enough already.

Let’s not live in fear. Let’s love each other. Help each other. Forgive.