We have ideas and dreams, and when we are brave, we shoot for them–taking one small step at a time. We celebrate the little victories along the way, and dare to believe it’s really going to take shape. Except then sometimes it doesn’t. We’ve missed the mark.
What is your default when this happens? Inevitably, there’s disappointment. Do you let that open the door to despair? Defeat? Unwillingness to dare to dream again, to stay in the shallow end of the pool where it’s comfortable?
Missing the mark, for me, tends to be accompanied by a recalling of events and puzzling to determine what exactly it was that led to missing my desired outcome. This is ok when it’s an honest and intentional attempt to learn better for next time. Mistakes and missed goals are, after all, great training ground for learning and growth. But sometimes, I get stuck and wallow in it a little too long, go down paths I shouldn’t, and before I know it I’m chiding myself and inviting condemnation. And that is where the problem lies, because that, my friend, is not the Lord speaking.
“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1
This is a good one to memorize. We need to pull this one out as soon as we recognize our not-friend, Condemnation. Speak it out loud. Let the wave of truth flood over your soul. Ask Him to replace it with wisdom and vision and healing. Replace condemnation with truth.
In the relativistic culture we’re living in, there seems to be a different “truth” at every turn. How do we know what the real truth is? We ask Him. The One who set it all into motion and knows every star by name and every hair on our very heads. Truth is revealed through His Holy Word.
So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32
We learn to recognize Him and His voice by spending time in His Word for us, asking Him to speak to us through it, and to give us the ears, eyes, mind, and heart to understand and hold onto it. In short, we abide in Him. And that is what will give us peace and courage to step out again after we’ve missed the mark.