Everyone experiences an occasional failure but some failures are more obvious than others. And those are the kind of failures we like to avoid. It reminds me of what the former NHL goalie who said; “How would you like a job where, if you make a mistake, a big red light goes on and 18,000 people boo?”
Regardless of how obvious failure might be – it is never pleasant. It can leave you full of regrets. It can make you beat yourself up and sometimes it can completely consume you. That’s probably what motivated one guy to write; “If at first you don’t succeed, failure may be your style.”
Well, failure isn’t anybody’s style but when we string several failures together you can sure feel like a failure. Truth is, there is a huge difference between failing and being a failure. Henry Ford once said; “Failure is just the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.”
He’s absolutely right.
Ultimately, the only way to become a failure is to give up and quit. That’s the message that roars through the life of John Mark. He’s the Biblical character who bailed on the Apostle Paul. Seems the youngster got fearful or homesick but either way – his abandonment of Paul and Barnabas became a real source of contention between them. Barnabas wanted to give him another chance and Paul said “no way.” In fact, when John Mark split they didn’t even bother to replace him!
John Mark’s failure to follow through didn’t stop him from making himself successful. After a few weeks of soul searching he jumped right back in the thick of it. He became a missionary with Barnabas, he became Peter’s personal scribe and was responsible for the actual penning of some of the New Testament. Ultimately he became Paul’s associate with is amazing. Paul put it like this in his letter to Timothy; Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry. 2 Timothy 4:11
How about that – the guy who wasn’t worth replacing became irreplaceable because he just wouldn’t quit.