The Honey Badger was in New Orleans last Sunday, playing for the Arizona Cardinals versus the NO Saints. Apparently he has strong support from ex-LSU player Patrick Peterson as well as his adoptive parents. He played an outstanding game, ended up making 10 tackles (which actually isn’t good because he’s a safety – this means he was making downfield tackles) and intercepting certain Hall-of-Famer Drew Brees in the end zone, halting a Saints drive.
Whether you love him or not, you have to give Tyrann Mathieu credit – he has not let his previous failures destroy him.
This reminds me of a little snippet of an interview with a noted shrink – working with some of the people injured/disfigured in the Boston Marathon bombing – that got my attention. The person writing the article asked, “What do you try to do for a person who comes to you for treatment?” The analyst said, “Our objective is to free the patieant from the tyranny of the past.”
The past can enslave us. Its fears, failures, and defeats can absolutely grab us by the throat. In that sense, it is a tyrant. And a tyrant is a cruel master.
Who among us has never failed? There isn’t one of us who does not know how it feels to fail in some way in our lives. It is tempting to throw our hands up and say, “What’s the use? I tried. I really tried. But things didn’t work out.”
And then we see others excel and advance in doing what we failed to do and we grumble about their luck or their playing politics and that we were too good to do that sort of thing.
The big danger is getting stuck in the failure. Once I visited a woman whose husband had failed in business. He sat silently in a corner of the room while I visited his wife, smoking one cigarette after another, obscuring himself behind a gray cloud. Failure had destroyed his will. He had given up. It was terrible to see.
Moses led the children of Israel into the wilderness. They spent 40 years there. Jacob loved Rebekah. He had to work 7 years for her hand after being tricked by his uncle, Laban (and previously having worked 7 years!). The disciples were in disarray after their Master was crucified. 300 years later Christianity was proclaimed the religion of the Roman Empire.
These people had faith. They turned their failures over to God. They asked God to teach them from their mistakes. They sought forgiveness and reconciliation. They had hope.
Here’s reality: the longer you live, the more times you will fail, and so the more you will have to deal with failure, both your own and that of loved ones and colleagues. So don’t let failure enslave you or defeat you. Keep trying. Keep the faith.