The high school commencement speaker was the president of a large corporation. He was chosen for the occasion because of his success. Yet his speech came with a most unusual wish for the graduates.
The speaker told the students sitting before him in their graduation gowns,
“If I could have one hope for you as you go out into the world, it would be this: I hope you fail. I hope that you fail at something that is important to you.”
He went on to say how his own early life had been one failure after another, until he learned to see failure as an effective teacher.
Many of the songs of Israel were born in seasons of failure. Out of desperation came the cry, “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God” (Ps. 42:1-2).
Sometimes we are not ready to see the wonder of God’s wisdom and strength until we are gasping for breath in the exhaustion of our own strength.
A recurring story of the Bible is that mountains of faith rise from the valleys of failure. Before discovering the high ground we are looking for, we may need to see the failure of the dreams we hold in our hearts and trust instead in the love, wisdom, and guidance of our God. — Mart De Haan