Saturday, August 25, 2007


Tomorrow, we’re wrapping up our series on GSPN—God’s Spiritual Playmaker Network. We’re talking about Reaching the Goal and I’m going to use football as an analogy of the Christian life. In my research this month about sports, I came across some pretty neat statistics about coming back from failure. Did you know that Babe Ruth struck out nearly twice as often as he hit a home run? Or that the average NBA player makes only 50% of his shots? Behind every major accomplishment is someone pushing through despite the odds.

When Jesus’ disciples were about to embark on their first mission trip, He gave them some good advice. If a certain village did not accept them or their message, they should “shake the dust off your feet” and move on to the next village (Luke 9:5). He was teaching them something we need to understand and practice today. Jesus knew the disciples faced the possibility of rejection in their new endeavor. The act of “shaking off the dust” was a symbolic way of saying, “I don’t want the failure and rejection associated with that event to remain part of me.” Jesus didn’t want them to lose heart. Instead, He told them to shake it off and move on to the next village. What a simple way to deal with failure: shake off the dust and move on.

When we allow defeat and disappointment to haunt us, we feel as if there is no hope. The Bible says in Proverbs 24:16, “For though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again, but the wicked are brought down by calamity.” Winston Churchill, the prime minister of England, had the tenacious personality of a bulldog. He once said, “Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.” Shake off the dust—keep moving ahead. Try, try again.