Monday, July 23, 2012

Your Failures Are Temporary

Failure can be devastating.
Just recall your most painful failures.
          Have you failed in school?  Have you experienced waiting outside the registrar’s office, your body sweating, your knees shaking, your stomach churning, praying that your grade isn’t a 72% but 75%–or you get kicked out of school? (Been there, done that.)
Have you failed in your job? In your business?  Did you lose money in your investments?  Have you plunked in hard-earned money in a business—only to have the money disappear? (I’ve experienced this ten times in my life…)
Have you failed in your diets?  My friend tried the Atkins Diet and he failed. He tried the Mediterranean Diet and he failed. He tried the After Six Diet, and he failed. He tried the South Beach Diet, the North Beach, The East Beach, and the West Beach—and failed all of them too. Finally, he’s doing the Seafood Diet and its been working. What he sees, he eats. 
Have you failed in your exercise programs? Have you decided to run each morning—and lasted only for two weeks? Have you bought a treadmill and now use it as a clothes hanger?  Skywalker? Abroller? Abflex? ThighMaster? StepMaster?  Used them for three weeks max, and are now symbols of your undisciplined life?
Have you failed in your love-life? Have you ever experienced a broken heart? Have you loved someone with all your heart, but that someone didn’t love you back but just wanted you to be a friend? (“But I don’t want to be just your friend! Grrrr!”) Or have YOU broken someone’s heart?   Is your theme song, To all the girls I’ve loved before. Who travelled in and out my door       Have you failed in your family life? As husband, wife, father, mother, sibling, child, grandchild? 
       Have you failed God?
       Have you failed yourself?
       People ask me how could I have written 27 books, so far. The answer is easy. It’s not because I have more brilliance. It’s because I have more blunders. Because every time I fail, I try to learn from my failures—and share this wisdom in my books.
Here’s God’s big message for you today. Failure is Temporary, but Victory is Permanent—because God cannot fail…
3 Lessons I Will Never Forget
       A few years ago, I wanted to learn how to play badminton. I asked my friend Mike Joseph to teach me how to play. Mike was phenomenal in badminton. He has been playing the sport for 30+ years. Before badminton became fashionable, he was already playing it as a kid. I bet when he was still in his diapers, he wasn’t holding a rattle, he was holding a badminton racket.
After two training sessions with him, something unforgettable happened. While we were dressing up to train, two guys invited us to a doubles game.
I was about to tell them, “Oh sorry guys, I don’t know how to play yet. Just in kindergarten…”  But Mike blurted out, “Sure!”
My jaw dropped. Was he out of his mind? I told the two men, “Excuse me for a moment while I confer with my friend…”
I walked near Mike and whispered, “Are you insane?  I don’t know how to play! These guys look like star players. We’re going to be massacred.”
He said, “It’s okay, Bo. Here’s what you do. Just stand in front of the net. If the shuttlecock goes near you, raise your racket and swat it down.  Remember these two things: Give it your best shot.  And I’ll take care of the rest.”
So I did the unbelievable.
With trembling knees, I took my place near the net. I looked at the two opponents on the other side and froze. They looked like pros.  Because they had expensive badminton rackets. And matching outfits!
In the entire game, I did what Mike told me to do—stand near the net and swat whenever the ball came near me. And Mike would do everything else. Believe me, he was like The Flash. When I turned to my right, he was there. When I turned to my left, he was there. When I looked behind me, he was there!  
What happened? That day, Mike and I crushed those guys. They didn’t know what hit them.
I felt great winning the game. Honestly, I didn’t do much. Goodness, I think I didn’t even perspire. In the entire 45 minutes of playing, I probably hit the ball twice. Okay, that’s an exaggeration.  I did more than that.
Let me share with you three key lessons I learned that day…
1. Always Play Doubles
Today, you’re fighting different battles in your life. Perhaps you’re fighting health problems. Or you’re fighting financial difficulties. Or you’re fighting relationship conflicts. Sometimes, you feel these opponents are huge and strong and powerful.
Here’s my word for you: Don’t try to fight alone.
Because God designed your life to be lived NOT as a Singles Game, but as a Doubles Game.   You need a Partner. 
There are people I know who fight their fights alone—and sooner or later, they lose.  People think they lose because of a lack of proficiency. Or a lack of power.  Or a lack of perseverance. Or a lack of provision. But actually, they lack a Partner. They lack a Champion Partner. Because if they had a Champion Partner, that Partner will give them the proficiency and power and perseverance or provision they need.
In our first game, the score was 15-9. We got 15 and they got 9. Do you know why the opponent had 9 points? Because I made 9 mistakes. 
Here’s what I learned: If you Partner with a Champion, you can make all sorts of mistakes—and still win.
I Shouldn’t Be Here!
This is the story of my life. I have made so many mistakes in my life, I’m wondering what in the world am I doing here, experiencing great blessing and success?
As I told you, I failed in school.
I think it all started when I was in Kindergarten. My teacher asked the class to write our names. Simple, right? Not if your name was Eugenio Isabelo Tomas Reyes Sanchez Jr. At that time, I couldn’t even memorize my name, much less write it down.
So I probably felt bobo (dumb)because by recess time, all my classmates were already playing outside—but I was still on my seat writing my name.
Seriously, I probably was mildly dyslexic because I couldn’t spell my words right. In Grade school, my teacher gave us 20 words to spell—and I only spelled 2 words right. The two words were “cat” and “dog”. But I couldn’t spell words with two syllables.
I was also bullied. Note: Not just by my classmates but by my teacher. Not only was I small and thin, but I was terrible at sports. I remember playing baseball. My teacher assigned me to be right outfielder. But I was so uncoordinated, I couldn’t catch the ball. My Teacher told all my classmates, “Try to hit the ball towards Eugenio because he won’t be able to catch it…” and then he’d laugh really loud and all my classmates would laugh with him. 
For our yearbook, they couldn’t write anything under my photo. There was nothing to write about. So they wrote something like, “Eugenio existed… sometimes.”
       As I grew up, I failed God. I sinned against God many times.
And that’s why God’s big message for you today is very close to my heart: Failure is Temporary, but Victory is Permanent—because God cannot fail.
Despite all those failures, I’m living a dream life today. I’m blessed beyond my wildest imagination. Everyday, I’m surrounded by love. I have a wonderful family. I have phenomenal friends. I have the most amazing work in the universe. There are days when I pinch myself. How can someone who has failed so much be so blessed? 
Here’s how: God’s specializes in transforming your failures into your fortunes, your defeats into your doorways, your disasters into your destinies, your messes into your magnificence.
Have you failed in your life? Have you made so many mistakes that you can’t count them? I’ve got good news for you. If you make God your Partner, no matter how many mistakes you‘ve made in your life, you can still win!
I repeat, Failure is Temporary, but Victory is Permanent—because God cannot fail.
Here’s my second key lesson…
2. Always Give Your Best
Mike told me only two things. He said, “Give it your best shot. I’ll take care of the rest.”
As I said, in our first game, the opponent had 9 points because I made 9 mistakes. Think about it: If I stood there like a flagpole, and did absolutely nothing, we would have won the game with the score 15-0. It would have been a more impressive win for Mike.
But Mike’s goal wasn’t to win. Mike’s goal was to teach how to win. He wanted me to learn, to grow, to develop, to be better. So before playing, he told me, “Give it your best shot.” Even if my best wasn’t good enough. Even if my best meant making all sorts of mistakes.
Friend, that’s exactly what God is telling you to do now.
God wants you to give life your best shot.
The world is your stage! And everyday, God wants you to go out there, stand on that stage, and give your best performance.
So if you’re a teacher, then teach your students so well that they’ll be wiser and better and kinder and nobler than their parents. If you’re an Entrepreneur, sell us products that will elevate the human spirit.  If you’re a janitor, hold your mop like a king holds his scepter and make that floor shine so that when people look at it, they’ll say that life is getting brighter everyday.  If you’re a nurse, then love your patients so well that they’ll think angels are walking in our midst. It doesn’t matter what you do. The world is your stage and your audience is begging you to give your best performance every time. Soon, people will travel for miles, line up for a chance to sit at your feet to watch you give your best. 
Here’s my final lesson…
3. Always Trust Your Partner
We actually played three badminton games that day.
In the first game, we won. But in the second game, we lost. The score was 13-15. Yes, I made more mistakes.
We took a water break after that. I walked up to Mike and said, “I’m such a lousy player. I think we should give up.”
“Nonsense!” he said, “You’re getting better!”
“Huh?” I looked behind me, wondering if he was talking to someone else. Nobody was there.  “Gosh Mike, we lost! All because of me.”
He shook his head, “We just lost one game. We’re now going to win the next game.”
That’s when I remembered that Mike gave me only two instructions. First, he said, “Give it your best shot.” Second, he said, “I’ll take care of the rest.”
I realized I needed to trust my Mentor. If he said, “We’re going to win this next game,” then we’re going to win the next game. If he said, “Bo, you’re getting better,” then I’m really getting better!
True enough, we won that third game. The score was 15-7. They made 7 points because I only made 7 mistakes.  I was getting better because I was committing lesser mistakes.
Friend, perhaps you’ve made a lot of mistakes and you feel disappointed with yourself today. But God is telling you, “You’re getting better! You’ll win in the next game.”
When you turn to the right, God will be there.   When you turn to the left, God will be there too. When you look behind you, God’s got you covered. He’ll back you up. He’ll make you win.
Live by this Law: Do your best and let your Partner do the rest. Friend, remove worry from your life. Trust in your Partner! Even when your situation is impossible. Especially when your situation is impossible!
Do Your Best And Let Your Partner Do The Rest
       Let me tell you a true story of my friends, James and Diana, a married couple who have been members of Light of Jesus for 30+ years now. (I’ve changed their names.)
30+ years ago, James and Diana had 3 friends who wanted to work abroad. Luckily, Diana had another friend who was in charge of hiring staff for luxury ships—and asked for her help for their friends. In no time, the three men got jobs as waiters in restaurants in the ship. The men happily worked as seamen, sending precious dollars to their family.
That same friend offered James a job as well.  “James, we still need waiters. Why don’t you apply?” she asked.
Diana and James talked about the offer – which was really tempting, because at the time, they were in their 20s and were minimum wagers.  Diana worked in a printing press and James in a food chain. They already had three kids, and their eldest, already six years old, would soon start school.
At that time, they were already part of the Light of Jesus Family.  After praying together with their friends in community, James didn’t feel peace about working abroad. He decided he should turn it down, stick it out here, and believe that God will prosper them.
“In the beginning, it was difficult to stand by our decision,” Diana told me. “I saw the families of my 3 friends happy with the money the men were sending them.  They had big TV sets and nice ovens. The ladies also showed me their branded imported bags.  Their kids played remote-controlled big toy cars—and my sons just watched them, their mouths salivating.  When the men came home for a vacation—they gave us chocolates and imported canned goods. Through those early years, we wondered if we made the right decision or not. It felt like we were failures and they were winners.”
Fast forward 30+ years later. Here’s what happened to them…
Friend #1 fell in love with a chambermaid in the luxury ship. His wife threatened to leave him. James advised his friend to quit working at sea.  He listened.  He found a job as waiter in a local restaurant—and saved his marriage.
Friend #2, lonely at sea, found comfort in shabuhe found in ports where his ship docked.  He became a drug addict and was fired.  Because of his addiction, he couldn’t find work in the Philippines, so his family went bankrupt.  To save her kids from poverty, his wife left him and lived with another man who provided for her. Friend #2 is now living on the streets, begging for food from his neighbors.
Friend #3 did not have a mistress, neither did he become a drug addict.  He provided for his family so well that his kids were able to go to exclusive schools. Happy ending?  Not quite.  His wife, unable to sleep during the long nights that her husband was gone, took downers—sleeping pills that eventually affected her brain. She is now mentally ill and he had to quit working abroad so he could take care of her and their kids.
Meanwhile, James and Diana, gave their best. And God did the rest. Their home now also has the large TV set. James rose through the ranks until he became a top supervisor. But most importantly, they had their family intact.
       By the way, I’m not telling you this story to tell you NOT to become an OFW. It’s still possible, but I urge you that if you’ll be separated from your spouse, it can’t be for too long. If at all possible, find a way to be together. Because that’s how God designed families.
But that’s the main reason why I tell you this story.
Here’s my main point: Early on, Diana and James thought they failed in life. But God vindicated them. 30 years later, they realized that failure is temporary, and victory is permanent, because God cannot fail.
God Doesn’t Do The Easy Things Only
Nothing is more impossible than death.
In the Bible, Jesus raised 3 dead people to life. They were the daughter of Jairus, the son of the Widow of Nain, and Lazarus, the brother of Mary and Martha.
The daughter of Jairus had just died a few minutes ago. Her body was still warm. Because when Jairus asked Jesus to pray for his daughter, she was still alive. But when they arrived at the house, someone told Jairus, “Don’t bother the Master. Your daughter is dead.” But Jesus still entered the room, and said to her, “Rise!” and the daughter of Jairus rose up from her deathbed.
The son of the widow of Nain died possibly for more than 12 hours. When Jesus met the funeral procession on the road, the guy was already in a coffin about to be buried. So his body was stiff and cold. They didn’t embalm people then, so they bury people in the same day they died. But Jesus stopped the funeral procession, touched the coffin, and said, “Rise!” and the man rose up from his coffin and started talking.
But among the three, no one was deader than Lazarus. Lazarus has been buried for four days. In fact, when Jesus came, Mary said, “Jesus, his body smells by now. His body has been rotting for 4 days.” But Jesus still said, “Lazarus, come out!” and Lazarus walked out of the grave.
What do these three miracles say to you?
       Perhaps your dreams have died—and they’re dead in varying degrees.
Perhaps your dream just died yesterday and it’s lifeless now on its deathbed. Perhaps your dream died some time back, and it’s now lying stiff and cold in a coffin. Or perhaps your dream died many years ago and it’s rotting in a grave.
All that doesn’t matter. Because God is in the business of resurrecting dead dreams. 
       God isn’t here to do the easy things only. God is here to do the impossible things.
God is telling you now, “Nothing is too hard for me.”
       All your failures are temporary. All your difficulties are temporary. All your disappointments are temporary. All your heartbreaks are temporary. All your bankruptcies are temporary. Even the pain of death is temporary! But your Victory is permanent. Because God cannot fail.
May your dreams come true,
Bo Sanchez

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