Feelings of Failure

Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” Matthew 8:20

What feelings accompany the thoughts of being a failure? For me it brings to mind a helplessness to change anything. A feeling of hopelessness when I look out at a world spiraling out of control. An underlying anxiety that time has passed me by while I sat on the sidelines and watched it dwindle away.
None of that is true of course, but the beginning of yet another new year brings doom and gloom thoughts dancing around in my head. Where has the past year gone and what have I accomplished in those three hundred and sixty-five days?

It really isn’t idleness of my time that brings about these thoughts, no – it’s quite the opposite. It’s busyness! The everyday rushing around to get as much accomplished as can be stuffed into the time I’m not sleeping or eating. As I get older, that time seems to be flying by at an accelerated rate. It’s as if the days, months and years are not going fast enough without my continuing to push heavily on the pedal to the metal.

I know that I have only so much time allotted while on this earth, which brings with it thoughts of times I wasted to the forefront of my mind. Instead I should have an appreciation for all the blessings I have received on this adventurous journey of my life.  Perhaps its exhaustion, cares of each day, the worlds critical attitude of anything sacred or Christian, maybe it’s all of the above and more that interferes with my own attitude of gratitude.

Have you ever asked yourself – “What Would Jesus do to direct- no – to correct – your thinking and change these feelings of inadequacy and failure?”  After all Jesus was never too busy for anyone and there were times He ‘had nowhere to lay His head’ as we read in Matthew eight above. His was a successful life of achievement with time well spent! With His perspective, the solution becomes obvious. Jesus was a servant who always focused on helping others and never on His own selfish needs!

Putting people, family, friends, complete strangers, ahead of myself changes my inward focus to outward thinking. This brings with it feelings of satisfaction, gratitude for the time given to me, but most of all it brings me . . . peace of mind.

My finances for helping may be limited, but my time is available to help with whatever abilities I have been given until God calls me to that better place by far. It is connecting with others, taking of my time to call, e-mail, text, Skype, visit or invite over for a cup of tea or a meal. Take my word for it this dissipates doom and gloom faster than any spring tonic!  It brings back (while at the same time creates) memories of past and present times of working or playing together, laughter at shared escapades, comfort in times of sorrow, along with moments of sharing of our time into each others lives.

It is a lesson I sometimes find hard to remember, along with the changing of my attitude back to an attitude of gratitude. When I have to leave some chore for the next day or week, I need to invoke patience and cooperate with the situation at hand. I must be willing to wait for that day when I will have the time to bring back some semblance of order to my sometimes hectic life. Things begin to fall into place when my focus is not on what I do with my time or on past failures, but on my caring for, and helping of others. The chores and busyness will be there when I no longer am . . . which at that point become someone else’s time to share and care.

So the solution I use to dispel feelings of failure and inadequacy is… Begin the new day allotted to you by first thanking the One who has given it to you; Take the time to reconnect with others; Stop what you are doing and encourage someone along the way; The old saying, “Pause and smell the Roses” all around you, has a lot of merit for future blessings.

I leave you with this quote from January’s Our Daily Bread –

Lord, help us to remember that while our lives are short, what we do for You now can have an impact long after we are home with You. Lead me today to invest in the lives of others.

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