Saturday, March 20, 2010

worst case scenario

I don't like failing. I don't like being rejected. I don't like hearing the word, "No." I don't like not getting a job I applied for. I don't like asking someone if they want to get together and having them say they just don't have time right now. I don't like sending messages and never getting a reply. I don't like applying for scholarships and getting that letter that starts with, "We regret to inform you..." I don't like putting myself into scenarios where I am not likely to succeed. And I don't think that I am the only one. But that is exactly what life requires. That we try and try again, failure or not.

I have started the process of applying for another scholarship. It is a bit of a mental battle because the rejection email from the last one I applied for is still fresh in my mind. A few weeks ago when I saw the spring round of scholarship deadlines come up, my first thought was, "Hey, I should apply for these." My immediate second thought was, "What's the use? I already know I don't have what it takes!"

Fortunately, I didn't stop there. I had a third thought. What's the worst that could happen? I could apply and not get it. And what then? Well, that's the real question, isn't it?

The story of Thomas R. Kelly came back to me, about how he failed his oral defense for his doctoral dissertation, went into a depression and as a result of that, had an encounter with God that changed his life. So the worse case scenario is that I fail, I feel horrible, and God meets me in that place. I don't know why God doesn't choose to meet people more often in really nice places, like 4-star hotels with fancy pools, a massage service, and an unlimited restaurant tab. Why must he so often pick the most uncomfortable, down-and-out location for my soul and his Spirit to rendez-vous?

If I take a long, hard look at my soul, I think I know the answer. If God called and asked to meet with me while I was busy having the best time of my life, I might not rush off to the meeting. I might put him off until later. Instead of just being a person trying to deal with rejection, I would become the one handing out rejection. And that would truly be the worst case scenario. Much worse than trying at something and failing.
This is some guy and his dog doing a pretty good job of learning to surf on Waikiki Beach.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

If we're convinced that God doesn't meet us in the nice places, have we perhaps closed our eyes?I have experienced countless wonderful encounters with God in the nice places as well as in the hard places.

ME

Matte Downey said...

I am not saying that God cannot or does not want to meet us in the lavish places, just that perhaps we are prone to being too distracted by the lavishness to see him. The poor and humble people and places seem to be places that God loves to visit. Nevertheless, I concur that he can be found in both. Thanks for the added note.