A young woman enrolled in a basic acting class during her first semester at UCLA. For her first assignment she performed a monologue from The Madwoman of Chaillot, playing the lead part, the maid. Although she put her act to memory and crammed like crazy, she was nervous, especially after she saw her classmates perform so well.
“It was my turn. I was the only one left. I didn’t feel so okay anymore. The stage in the tiny classroom was about six inches high and I tripped stepping up on it. I turned around and introduced my presentation…I got it out and I was word-perfect. My homework had paid off in that respect and I had added a personal touch to the character of the little maid by making small circles in the air with a clenched fist so it would look as if she were dusting something. I returned to my seat with my heart in my ears, thankful to God it was all over. I don’t recall any clapping. But it wasn’t all over. Now came the critiques and the instructor skinned me alive. She wound up giving me a D-. She explained to the class: ‘I’m giving this student a D- because she at least had the piece memorized; However, it was an F performance.’ She dismissed us with, ‘Now, choose new partners for your next act.’ Everyone left but me. I felt as empty as the classroom. I thought, I can quit or stay. It was my choice. I decided to stay. I had nowhere to go but up.”
This student was Carol Burnett, who went on to become one of television’s most beloved actresses and comedians. She used that embarrassing failure as a launching pad for her success. (Carol Burnett, “One more time” Random House, 1986, p186).
Did you know that King David was a man who failed miserably in his affair with Bathsheba? Maybe even worse than his adultery and murder of her husband Uriah was his lack of conscience about his sin. How could such an insensitive man be a king? But he repented and went on to be the greatest king in Israel’s history.
The moral: failure is not defeat. It is, only if a person allows it to be. Failure can be a stepping stone to success if we will truly learn a lesson from it then not repeat it. Giving up, after failure, is an option that seems to lurk in the shadows. That little discouraging voice can be very convincing. Observe King David: he didn’t quit after failure and went on to greater heights.
It is amazing how many personal stories from failure to success, we have heard, to think only if that were me. These people are not super special. They just learned the secret of not giving up.
My dad use to say, “Son, quitters never win and winners never quit, so keep going!” This little adage got stuck in my head. He was a great example when I was growing up. Many times I have reflected how he faced adversities even experiencing failures, but his determination was so strong that he would not quit. He kept his focus. He prayed. He worked it out. He was successful. For more info you can visit us at www.JoyChristianMinistries.com
Pastor J.C. Myers, III
Pastor J.C. founded Joy Christian Ministries in 1992. He was Sr. Pastor at Joy Christian Ministries in West Sacramento, California from 1992-2016. He was succeeded by his 2nd son, Pastor Brandon Myers who had been under his father's ministry and teaching for 39 years.