Watching the Olympics, enjoying the mango salsa and tortilla chips under my warm blanket, I was taken aback by couple's ice skating. Couple after couple would make mistakes, fall, slip, miss a spin . . . and scramble to their feet again to their next jump. Instantly dazed and certainly devastated, they would just as quickly be required to summon new focus and momentum to perform the next spin with speed and accuracy.
When the skaters would err, I in my comfy circumstances would cringe for them - even hurt emotionally for them - to think of the hours, days, months and often years that they had been preparing for this moment. Putting myself in their skates so to speak, I could feel the forces of disappointment, embarrassment, sadness, frustration and disappointment at each failing. In my mind it would be easy to choose to quit, to walk off the ice in humiliation - especially if you knew you had lost.
However, watching them continue through each movement to the end of their planned program, IN SPITE of the falling, the missteps, the lowered score . . . it reminded me that when we fail, we fail most when we quit.
When we hang out in our losses, hang out with our failures, we lose time, energy, momentum and self-confidence. Failing is part of being human. It is what makes success and victory so sweet and so magical when it happens. Success is riddled with failings. How we respond when we fail makes all the difference.
This program of life is short - our chance on the ice is limited. The music will end. The plan that we have for our lives, and most definately the plan God has for our lives is in motion right now. Don't skip a beat. Don't give up and leave the ice dejected just because you fall. Gather your strength, remember your goal and find your place again. The music is playing beautifully and the crowd is still cheering you on. There is a plan. Hold your head up and keep skating. Don't even skip a beat.