Do you remember being a kid and using your imagination? Maybe you were climbing a tree but you were pretending you were climbing up a dinosaur’s leg or when your mind’s eye turned that back patio into a pirate ship.
In those moments, failure wasn’t seen as the end of the game. Failure was just one more opportunity to improvise because the adventure had to proceed. If you threw that rope and it didn’t catch but instead fell in the lava to disappear….you had to get to the island without the luxury of a rope. Maybe you found some anti-lava shoes on the corner or used something else for a rope or threw something down across the gap and balanced beamed across but somehow you got there…
When we become adults, failure isn’t looked on as an opportunity to improvise anymore. We get locked into paradigms where you succeed or fail and get stuck without being able to see outside the situation or conventional means of moving ahead to find the innovation to get “unstuck”. Maybe this is because we no longer have the sense that we are in an adventure of sorts and that it is all going somewhere and maybe we ought to have a smile on our faces when things get a bit messed up and mixed up.
Part of our reason for this is as adults we lose our sense of adventure and imagination which kills our ability to improvise and convert tragedy to triumph. We don’t have to go back to being kids…this is not about pretending to be someone you aren’t. Instead, we can realize we are on a grand adventure that often calls for our burned up ropes to help us look for lava proof shoes to get to the other side. Innovation and improvisation put a comma behind failure or maybe a semi-colon instead of a period.
Let us never lose our spirit of adventure. Let us never see failure as a stopping point, rather as a means and motivation for innovation. Let us always treat us each other love and grace. Last, let’s have some fun along the way!
What affect would this have on our churches and ministries to see things this way?