December 10, 2021 by Lazer Brody
Those who don’t climb, never fall. Folks who don’t try, never fail. People who don’t do, never make mistakes.
We wouldn’t have fallen of the horse if we weren’t riding the horse. The test, now that we’ve bit the dirt, is how fast we’re back on our feet.
For sure, falling off that horse really hurts. For someone else, it’s flunking a driving-license exam. Or maybe you just received a rejection letter from the school or job of your choice, or from the person you were hoping to settle down long-term with. Anyone hurts all over from a setback; that’s natural and expected. Remember, we’re flesh and blood. Emuna – pure and simple faith – does not mean that we fake it and deny the pain! That’s lying to ourselves and lying to G-d.
So where does emuna pick us up? It teaches us that despite our lack of understanding how and why, our loving Father in Heaven does everything for the best. Emuna’s 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 faith and strength of character than staying on our feet without ever having 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 fallen at least seven times.
The Emuna Outlook
Doers suffer failures, falls and mistakes. But when those setbacks show us that we need more prayer, and we need the Almighty in whatever we’re doing, then those setbacks become intrinsically good because they’ve helped us strengthen faith and get closer to the Almighty. That’s the emuna outlook and it certainly is the outlook of life’s winners.
Don’t let a setback get you down. You can’t have a comeback until you’ve had the setback. Don’t forget too that even the quarterback, halfback and the linebacker of the winning team are full of bruises and sore muscles.
These 5 points will put us back on our feet and give us the motivation and power to make our own fantastic comeback:
People who drive sometimes get traffic tickets. Those 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.
Failure guards 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 setback 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. The additional experience is important 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 setback (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 setback, especially a painful one, drives a lesson home immediately. Usually, we are slow in internalizing and implementing what we learn. After a setback, 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 have a setback. 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 points of motivating ourselves, we now mobilize the strength within us to make a great comeback. It’s the real deal.