The Prison of Failure
I slowly passed the Prison of Failure and stared up at the high stone walls topped with barbed wire. I wondered what kind of people were imprisoned there but I was in too big of a hurry to spend much time thinking about it. after all, I was on my was to a great opportunity. I had an idea and had been given the privilege of sharing it with others whom I was sure would applaud and be anxious to be part of my venture. It was revolutionary, this idea of mine. I knew it would work and that people would begin to recognize my talents and gifts, something I wasn't too confident in myself.
I arrived at the designated location, the Prison forgotten in my zeal to share.
I stood poised but nervous and began to unravel my plans and ideas before the group of listeners. As I spoke, the listeners began to quietly slip away and by the time I was finished, there were only a few loyal friends left.
I remained, in stunned silence, staring at my failure. Self-loathing and Disappointment escorted me to the car and I found myself on the way to the Prison of Failure. It was humiliating. I had poured my heart and soul into my presentation and no one had accepted it. Worse yet they had rejected me by their very action of leaving me .....standing alone.
I entered the prison, stripped of my pride. I felt alone and embarrassed. Surely no one would fill my emptiness here. As I wandered out into the yard, which I had previously viewed from the other side, I was curious to see who else was there. What did I find!!! Discouraged workers who looked just like me! They were humiliated, self-loathing and hopeless. I looked around for the guards - they were there. I saw Self-Incrimination on one wall, Low Self-Esteem on another, Low Self-Confidence on the third and Other's Opinions on the fourth. Self-Criticism was circulating within the walls and seemed to be connecting with those who were most defenseless.
My eyes searched for an escape and to my surprise, I saw that the door to the outside stood ajar, with no one guarding it to stop my passage.
I started to slowly make my way toward the open door, but Other People's Opinions blocked my way. He challenged me, but I remained resolute in my desire to escape. Then Self-Criticism loomed aheadf of me. I took notice and was momentarily discouraged but managed to bypass him before he could stop my progress. Low Self-esteem rushed in to block me and I hesitated, knowing that this guard was very powerful and not likely to grant me any leeway. We stood nose-to-nose, staring each other down. I began to weaken, but out of the corner of my eye, I couold see the open door of my escape route.
My heart was taking me through the door but my spirit was broken. The door was just beyond my reach, but Low Self-esteem was the guard I could not overcome.
At that moment I saw the Saviour standing at the door. He beckoned me to keep striving but my strength was gone. I staggered and was about to fall when I felt strong arms lifting me to my feet. I looked up to see Him stand above me, warding off the guards who were rushing in to inhibit my escape. He whispered, "Lean on me. My stremgth is made perfect in your weakness. I rose uncertainly, keeping my eyes fixed on His face. He inspired confidence and strength. I no longer saw my guards. All I saw was His love and perfect peace and encouragement. I stood to my feet. I walked confidently through the doors of the Prison of Failure and determined that I would not return.
Since that time, I have experienced other failures. They no longer relegate me to the prison from which I have been rescued. Now I seek the face of the One who helped me escape and I draw my strength from Him. Failure is still a possibility, but it will not defeat me. I have my Rescuer to remind me that I am human. I have so much to offer. I have talents and gifts that He can use and through His strength, I will not let failure, discouragement, self-incrimination or low self-esteem keep me from fulfilling my destiny.