07.30.17 – Permission to Fail

Hello!

Sorry I’ve been MIA for a month (and a half? My last post was on June 16. Yikes.) now. Life is kinda throwing a bunch of curve balls at me, and it’s been quite the tough journey. It’s been a tough few weeks with road bumps and detours, and it seems like it’s not ending any time soon.

The moment I started on this road, it’s as if I’m going through it on full throttle. Then, all of a sudeen, the road is accompanied by road bumps every few minutes and detours on every block without signs to even signify that there’s one coming up. Straight, right, left, straight again, there’s a speed bump, right, another speed bump, 2 seconds in the air before coming down again. It goes over and over again, and I find myself spending so much time trying to figure out where I’m going that the moment I’ve figured out the previous speed bump, another one appears.

To be frank, I’m getting annoyed and frustrated at it. It’s as if God was like, “Hey, Keith! Here’s a new opportunity for you!” Then, after taking it, He’s like, “Awesome! You took it! Don’t forget the struggles that come with it!” Then boom. Struggle after struggle. Problem after problem. Challenge after challenge.

While the sun is shining on a beautiful July day, I’m here wallowing in the dark with no “Exit” sign and no fire escape anywhere I look. There’s a door, but this isn’t the time or the place to get away from. I know that the door is locked from the inside, but I can exit any time. But it’s as if I have to be here at this particular place at this particular time.

It’s as if I need to be here.

I don’t know the reason yet, nor do I know why I’m going through this tough road. All I do know is that I am going through this tough time, and it seems as if I have been given a new permission:

A permission to fail.

This might seem like a bad permission to have as it does mean that I’m going to fail time and time again, and I agree. I’m not opposed to anyone thinking that having permission to fail is the best thing. Why, you ask? Because this whole month was a month of failures for me.

I failed at becoming the best hire at my new company. I failed at passing my driver’s exam. I failed at becoming a full licensed driver. I failed at keeping my emotions in check. I failed at listening to the concerned voices of my friends. I failed at being sensitive to the needs of my friends. I failed at overcoming my struggles. I failed at overcoming my pride. I failed at becoming a better friend. I failed at becoming a better son.

If I was graded on a letter scale, the month of July for me would have been an F- (if grades even go that low). My effort would have been an A+ (not to brag, but I tried my hardest on EVERYTHING; i just failed at them all.) I would have failed this entire month.

However, I think I’ve learned a valuable lesson in failing:

It’s okay to fail.

In a society that values perfectionism and success, nobody openly discusses or values failure. Many people talk about their failures, and some people find it inspiring that people can get up and be successful, but most inspirational speakers don’t leave me inspired. In fact, they leave me feeling even worse. It’s not their fault, obviously (I’m quite a hard guy to impress). But the fact that schools, parenting books, and inspirational books do their best to ensure “success” just seems like a façade of the unreal.

The truth is, everybody fails. Everybody. There’s not a person in the world that hasn’t failed at anything they’ve done before. But people need to talk about it. You can’t just talk about success and make that your entire speech without talking about failing. Talk about failures. Talk about failing at something that you tried to achieve but couldn’t. Talk about failing at getting a girl. Talk about failing at a course. Talk about failing at impressing the company that you’ve always wanted to work at. Talk about failing at getting something when you’ve always wanted to get it.

Talk about real life. Don’t just talk about the successes of the person. Talk about their failures and their attitude during those failures. Talk about how they reacted or what they did when those failures happened. Talk about what they improved on and how they became a better person because of those failures.

Maybe I’m just wallowing in failures now, but my life won’t end up in a failure. I know God has so much more for me. I just need to wait for the time when all my failures become something amazing.

“It is good for me that I was afflicted,
that I might learn your statutes.”
– Psalm 119:71 ESV

TL;DR – Keith is on a bumpy road. Keith kept failing this month, but Keith kept going. Keith has been given permission to fail. Keith needs to talk about failures. Keith is failing now, but Keith will have something amazing at the end of the failures. Keith remembers Psalm 119:71.

05.25.17 – Falling Down Seven Times

Hello, and welcome to another week of Keith’s ramblings! Just kidding.

I hope all of you are having a great week. It’s been quite sunny here in BC, and it’s a nice refreshing week compared to the rainy weather that we were having a few weeks ago. I mean, it’s still technically spring here, but summer is less than a month away, so the sun is more than welcome. However, my week hasn’t really been quite sunny and refreshing.

I recently failed this week. It lasted two days, and I couldn’t stop until I told a close friend about it. It kept me going over and over again, and each time that I failed, I kept feeling even worse. I didn’t know how to stop or refrain from doing it. It was as if something got a hold of me and just kept thrashing me again and again. As if once isn’t enough.

It happened, and I knew it was gonna happen. I just didn’t stop myself from doing it, and decided to just let it happen. I knew the consequences, but I still let it happen. It was really stupid of me. I just couldn’t believe I’ve failed again at a struggle that I have been fighting so hard to stop. All I could do was just be in the mess of it all with no escape (even when God had presented me an opportunity to escape). Ah, stupid Keith. And to think that leadership was meant for me.

I’m not gonna disclose it here, but it’s been a long-time struggle for me. It has been something that I struggled with even as a child, and I feel like it will disqualify me for so many things that I dream of doing in ministry. I think this struggle of mine is going to stop me from pursuing ministry even further, which, as much as I want to say grace exists, I know might happen.

Yet, through my failures, God reaches out to me and still holds on. He still loves and cares for me. He actually gave me a message when I was repenting and praying to Him:

“Come to me at your dirtiest, not just at your cleanest.”

At that moment, I saw an image of me as a little kid; a little kid that went outside after taking a shower to play in the mud, and is now standing in front of God all dirty and messy with stains all over my white shirt and my body. It was as if He was telling me that He didn’t care if I have failed. He cared that I went back and repented. He cared that I came to Him after spending some time in the dirt with a huge mess instead of hiding it.

I can’t say I will never do it again, but God help me if I didn’t try to never do it again. He needs my obedience, and if I can’t give Him that, then what’s the point of calling myself a God-loving, God-following Christian? I think I need to establish steps of not failing again just so I can live for Christ and obey Him without conditions or constraints.

I know God can change my life. All I need to do now is trust Him and trust Him fully.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
– 1 John 1:9 ESV

TL;DR – Keith wishes you all a great week! However, Keith is not having a great week due to struggles and failures. Keith feels stupid for failing, but God is gracious and loving. God can change Keith. Keith, remember 1 John 1:9.