This past Sunday morning I delivered not one of the worst Bible Fellowship lessons, but THE WORST lesson I have ever done. It was so bad that I could not even talk about it when I got home to my wife. I did not connect on any level, my first four questions got zero response, I ended up skipping the whole lesson and went to the closing activity which was a group project. I made the assignments and then went to the restroom to pray. My prayer ended with something like “ God if you get me out of this I will never teach again”. This was a closing that I knew I was not going to do, but those were my feelings. I went back into the room and struggled to finish the lesson and the time eventually ended. For me the problem seemed worse because there were guests who came for the first time. I really did not want to go back to church that night and see people; especially the people who were in my class.
I have never wanted to quit so bad as a teacher before, but part of my job is filling empty teaching positions so I did not want to make my Monday morning worse by quitting on myself. 🙂 I almost wrote a note to every person in the class apologizing, but I knew that would just make it worse. I went home that afternoon and to console myself I roasted, ground, and brewed a pot of coffee, grabbed my bag of Cheetos, and watched a sci-fi classic. Hey we all morn in our on ways – don’t judge.
We all have one of those days where nothing seems to go right. We blow the presentation at work, drop the ball on following up on a customer, and disappoint those around us. What do we do next? I try not to make any rash decisions that day such as quitting. However, there are lessons to be learned from any failure. I am reminded of the passage in the Bible in the Gospel of Mark 14:66-72 when Peter when he denied Jesus three times. This is one of the most epic failures of all times for those of us who are Christians.
In this passage you see when he realizes what he has done and that he morns. This is a part of the process that we have to go through. He knows what he did and the responsibly is his. We have to acknowledge our mistakes and own them. You cannot escape the personal responsibility. He morned. We see him weeping after he realizes what he has done. There has to be a time of morning. It is ok to feel this way when we fail and if we did not feel this way then we really did not care enough. You cannot stay at this part of the process.
Thankfully the story of Peter does not end there. He does not give up and more importantly God does not give up on him. When the book of Acts opens up we see a whole new Peter. We see a Peter who can withstand persecution and is bold for the Gospel. What made the difference? In Acts you see a man who has developed an incredible prayer life, and his relationship with God became more intimate. You see a man who does not dwell on his past, but focuses on the future. He pours himself into the job that God has called him to do. In short: make sure your relationship with God is where it needs to be, realize the past is the past and you need to focus on the future, focus on the next task that God gives you, and remember everything is about glorifying God and not yourself.