Learning from my Disasters

The righteous may fall seven times but still get up, but the wicked will stumble into trouble.

Proverbs 24:16 

I wonder if Peter felt a twinge of guilt every time he heard a rooster crow.

Last year when I was in Israel, I could not get over how often I heard roosters crowing. I am used to waking up to the sounds of trash trucks, fire engines, and car alarms. Our rooster population is zero, but not in Israel.

Imagine Peter waking up every day to a rooster’s crow. The sound must have signaled an invitation into a cage of shame. A triggered flashback of his greatest failure. An old tradition states that for the rest of Peter’s life when someone wanted to heckle Peter they would crow like a rooster. “Remember! Peter! Remember!” Satan is not just a roaring lion but a crowing rooster as the accuser of the brethren. He tries to get us to watch the old videotapes of our FLOPS/FAILURES/FUMBLES.

Why does failure destroy some people and not others? Why do some give up and some fail forward? The God of the Second Chance can turn fiascoes into fine works of art. It is called grace…undeserved forgiveness, outrageous compassion…incredible spiritual clemency. When broken world people get restored like Simon Peter…watch out.

A book called Art and Fear shows how indispensably failure is tied to learning. A ceramics teacher divided her class into two groups. One got graded solely on the quantity of work. The other group got graded on the quality of work- produce one pot and it better be good. Amazingly, all the highest quality pots were turned out by the quantity group. It seems as they churned out quantity they were learning from their disasters and growing. Trying and failing and trying again works better than attempting perfection. No pot, no matter how misshapen, is really a failure.

Peter was in the quantity group. Many of his antics were not “A” material but he learned and grew by the grace of God. He never let a rooster stop him. NO FLOP/FAILURE/FUMBLE IS FINAL WITH GOD.