Day 014: Failure, Humility, and Grace
Today’s post will be short. There’s not much to say. Yesterday I decided to become a Saint, and not just any Saint, but a great one. Don’t get me wrong even then I knew I couldn’t do this under my own power. The whole point of being a Saint is total reliance on God. At the same time I also know God’s gift of free will and that there are behaviors that Saints do that I would need to choose daily and especially when attempted to do wrong. These behaviors help show God I am serious about my devotion to Him and to living, not ordinary. I think today I failed every single thing I tried to do.
For the first time, and I don’t know how long, I didn’t go out and take my morning walk. I didn’t clean for 10 minutes like I normally do. I’m not even sure if I said my morning prayer and now that I’ve come to think of it.
On the ride to work, I was at the back of a line of slow moving cars. When an opportunity came to pass, I took it. Passing took longer than I thought it would, though, and instead of moving back in between two cars, I drove faster to get to the front of the line and then make a quick turn off the road. Even my pre-live not ordinary self didn’t drive that aggressively.
That school, I was frustrated with teenagers who hadn’t done the work and became impatient. Patience is something I struggle with. I’ve gotten much better as I’ve matured, but today I knew I was being observed later in the day. I let fear of how that observation would go dictate my emotions. I let those emotions dictate my blood pressure, which influenced my words and actions.
I had things I should’ve been working on, but instead got caught up on what was less important and less urgent. I didn’t prioritize. Prioritizing is generally one of my strengths. The day, after becoming a Saint, and a great one, I failed to do even what I’m good at.
I could go on with my failures of the day, but you get the idea. In big ways and small, I proved that I am not only not a Saint, not even a small one, but I am not even as good as I was years ago pre Live Not Ordinary.
The only thing I can do now is to choose to Live, Not Ordinary from this moment on. The best way I know to do this is to be humble first of all. I must admit that I can do none of this on my own. I am no saint, but Lord, I want to be one. I must, as retired Navy SEAL Jocko Willink says, take extreme ownership of my failures. this is not to beat myself up, but it is the only way to grow. It’s not a problem that I was tired in the morning. It is a problem that I didn’t work through it. It’s not the other drivers’ fault that they were slow and I was in a rush. It is a problem that I didn’t leave more time to get to work. My students’ work ethic was poor and their gratitude for all is done was lacking, but my impatience was my failing. Their work ethic is on them. My response is on me. As far as prioritizing, I got caught up in bright, shiny object syndrome, and distracted. There’s no other way around it. It was entirely my failing.
When I was younger, like three weeks ago, I would easily beat myself up for my failures. I’d see myself is not good enough, and become defeated and self-loathing.
Committing to Live Not Ordinary, committing to being a Saint, even a small one, means I do what is more challenging by not beating myself up while also not making excuses. I will admit my faults, my failures, and see my weaknesses and vulnerabilities. I will seek forgiveness. I will seek strength I do not possess from the Lord my God and commit to greater self discipline before moving on to make the next day better.
As I wrap this up, I’m reminded of my daily prayer, “Lord, have Mercy in me a sinner. Lord, have Mercy in me a sinner. Lord, have Mercy in me a sinner.”
Today I messed up. Tomorrow, I still have Hope thanks to God’s Grace.
Lord, make me a Saint, and a great one. Jesus, I trust in You.Jesus, I trust in You.Jesus, I trust in You.
Good night and God Bless…
Gratitude Journal 4/24/23 Thank You Lord for…
- Extreme Ownership and the lessons JOCKO and other special ops have taught me.
- Getting me to school safely.
- Getting the other drivers where they needed to go safely.
- That there were no police around when I passed.
- Knowing just because I passed legally didn’t make it right.
- Having time to get things done.
- A really good observation, even when it wasn’t done exactly as planned.
- The observer who was very easy going.
- The conversation with the observer who told me about his different path to administrative work. My understanding that, while I want a straight line to Sainthood, my path will be crooked with lots of loop backs and failures, but always humility, ownership, and hope!
- God’s Grace, without which I’d have no Hope for Sainthood or reason to desire it.
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