“Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?’ ‘Yes, Lord,’ he said, ‘you know that I love you.’ Jesus said, ‘Feed my lambs.’” – John 21:17
“Great stories happen to those who can tell them.” – Ira Glass
I go back to my childhood in search of stories for my sermons or writings. It adds a layer of integrity and authenticity to what I am trying to say. Am I the expert of my own life’s experiences?
Mamma reminded me of my first mistake, “You in were trouble all the time. You were only 2 years old when we were painting the house. I had to step away for 30 seconds and when I got back. I was stunned at how a small child could make such a big mess with so little paint, and in such a short amount of time!” I remember announcing at dinnertime, “I ain’t had a whipping all day” My announcement was premature because soon after my “britches was a-burning.”
I am grown and I still make mistakes. Musicians make mistakes all the time. That is why they rehearse and practice. Scientists make mistakes. The “Scientific Method” begins with a hypothesis that is proven to be right or a mistake. Engineers make mistakes. Structural engineers run simulations to test if their design will work or if it is a mistake. In all fields of study, mistakes are vital to learning. Mistakes teach me grace.
Christian leadership should embrace failure. Failure perfects love. Never aim to fail. Learn from our failure. Musicians learn muscle memory, scientists learn what won’t work, and engineers develop better tools of measurement.
Do not despair! Christian leaders will fail, but God knows our intentions.
Loving God, you are kind, gracious, forgiving, and eager to restore what was lost in all of us. Strengthen us today to take chances in life. You who delight in restoring what was lost, give us a grace that is perfecting your love in us. Amen.
Mattheue Locklear is the pastor at First UMC-Pembroke and Sandy Plains UMC