I pray you make more mistakes this year
My prayer and hope is that you make more mistakes this coming year.
I hope you try something difficult or impossible this year, and, as is usually the case when we truly reach for such things, that you make and learn from mistakes along the way.
The start of the year is often when we make resolutions. I hope you resolve to live a lifestyle that is open to mistakes, and, more importantly, to learning from mistakes.
Our culture, politics, churches, ministries, and professions don’t make enough room for mistakes. In fact, we are often punished rather than rewarded for mistakes. Too often, our society is impatient with mistakes and intolerant of failure.
We encourage people to celebrate their successes and hide their failures.
Our social media walls are covered in our best, brightest, and most successful moments. But we’re afraid to talk openly about our mistakes, failures, lapses, and blunders.
But here’s the thing: We grow and mature and learn through dreaming and striving and experimenting and risking and failing.
And we need many more spaces where people can seek to understand how God works through mistake and failure.
I hope this year that you’ll strive more, hope more, blunder more, and experiment more.
I hope you’ll push out beyond the safe shores into unchartered waters, giving something a go that has a very high chance of failing.
“A ship in harbor is safe – but that is not what ships are built for.” – John A. Shedd
I hope and pray that you’ll try something new. Strive for something bigger. Give yourself to a big and audacious cause. Push off into dangerous waters. Risk something you’ve held dear. Sacrifice yourself. Work for something others say will fail. Do something you’re passionate about. Have the courage to attempt something bold. Embrace the courage to make mistakes. Do something every day that scares you. Get rid of the habit of not dreaming and trying. Stumble a lot. Embrace uncertainty. Be compassionate with others in their foibles, weaknesses, and errors. Go into the darkness, holding the hand of the Messiah. Trust God’s presence, rather than the known way. Give yourself permission to fail. Learn from mistakes.
See disappointments and blunders and miscalculations and mistakes for what they are—the tools God uses to grow us, to enlarge our courage, and to shape our hopes and integrity and imagination.
Live life to the full—by living for something much bigger than yourself and your life.
Walk in step with the Spirit into dangerous, unchartered, risky, unknown places.
Follow the Messiah into places and relationships and causes you’d normally avoid.
Get out of the boat, walk on the water, and come toward Jesus. See the strength of the wind, the ferocity of the waves, the very real chance of perishing. Put your trust in the One who is there with you in the waves, and who alone can calm the seas.
So, I hope and pray you’ll make more mistakes this year.
And I hope you’ll join a community that loves you enough to inspire you to dream, and that invites you to risk. I hope you’ll join a community that exhorts you to something bigger than yourself, and that allows you to blunder and fail.
I pray you make more mistakes this year. And, by God’s grace, I pray you’ll grow and make a difference in the world as a result.
Dr Graham Hill is the Founding Director of The GlobalChurch Project – www.theglobalchurchproject.com. He’s the author of “GlobalChurch: Reshaping Our Conversations, Renewing Our Mission, Revitalizing Our Churches” (IVP, 2016), and 3 other books.
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Don't forget to buy Graham Joseph Hill's books:
- Healing Our Broken Humanity
- Global Church
- Salt, Light, and a City (second edition)