January 16, 2022 by Lazer Brody
Wipeouts are not fun. They’re disappointing and often painful, emotionally and physically. Yet, I’ve never met surfer who has given up the sport because of a wipeout.
Maybe you don’t surf but you ride horses. You took a fall. Sure, it really hurts. Perhaps you lost an important sale that you were working so hard for. Maybe you just now flunked your driving exam. Or maybe you just received a rejection letter from the school, job or marital prospect of your choice. Anyone hurts all over after a wipeout; that’s natural and expected. Remember, we’re flesh and blood…
You’re not alone. Everyone takes a painful fall from time to time. The good news is that there’s no law that one must stay down from a setback. Indeed, getting back on our feet requires far more strength of character than staying on our feet, without ever haven been knocked down. For that reason, King Solomon, the wisest individual who ever walked the face of the earth, said, “A righteous man falls seven times, and gets up again” (Proverbs 24:16). In other words, he doesn’t merit the title “righteous” until he has suffered at least seven wipeouts.
Don’t let a wipeout get you down. Sure, it can temporarily slow you down, like pulling a muscle while working out. But, it doesn’t have to keep you down. Don’t lose heart when you cheated on your diet and regained 5 pounds. Get back in the game! You can’t have a comeback until you’ve had the setback. Don’t forget too that even the halfback and the linebacker of the winning team are full of bruises and sore muscles. So are the cowboys who win the rodeo gold medals riding bucking broncos.
The following five points will put you back on your feet, fast! They’ll also give you the motivation and power to make a fantastic comeback.
People who drive sometimes get traffic tickets. People who don’t drive don’t ever make wrong turns. Wouldn’t it be ridiculous if an elderly person bragged that he never committed a traffic violation, if he never drove a car? The first consolation of a setback is the knowledge that you are a doer.
Wipeouts protect us against complacency and arrogance. When we fail, we realize that we need to improve. Oftentimes, a second effort is far superior to even a best first effort. Don’t be angry with yourself; just try harder. Failure is like your soccer team losing a goal – the other team may have scored a point, but the game’s not over! A wipeout helps us try harder and reach higher, thereby enabling us to fulfill a higher level of our potential. And, if you’ve failed that driving test, it simply means that with a few more lessons and additional practice, you’ll be a much better driver on the road, for your own safety and for the safety of everyone else on the road.
If we were constantly successful, we’d probably walk around with our noses in the air. Then, we’d be ugly, heaven forbid, because few things are uglier than arrogance. The Creator loves humility and wants us to realize that He is the source of both our setbacks and comebacks, failures and successes. He gives us a wipeout (yup, it’s not your fault!) because He wants us to pray a lot harder and earnestly seek His assistance for our next effort. If our lives were a perfect string of successes, we’d almost certainly neglect our spiritual development.
The experience of a wipeout, especially a painful one, drives a lesson home immediately. Usually, we are slow in internalizing and implementing what we learn. After a wipeout, we have a golden opportunity to better ourselves immediately.
Where would an actor prefer to forget a line, in rehearsal or on stage? A failure in rehearsal often assures a better performance on stage, since the actor makes a special effort to polish the rough edges of his or her performance. Sometimes, small failures are none other than preparations for large successes. Rejections are Divine filters to keep you away from unwanted paths. Rejected? Don’t be dejected. Something much better (job, soul-mate, etc.) is on the way.
Don’t ever despair when you get wiped out. Try harder, ask the Creator for help, and then be positive that you’ll do much better the next time. Depression and despair stem from the dark, spiritually impure side, and prevent you from being happy. Despair perpetuates inner turmoil and creates a barrier between you and Divine light. With these five minutes of motivating ourselves, we now mobilize the strength within us to make a great comeback. It’s the real deal. When we do, we usually discover that our second effort yields much better results and reveals potential that we didn’t even know that we had. Remember, the wipeouts all come from a loving Father in Heaven and they’re all for our very best. Now smile, because it’s all good. Yours always, LB
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