Fast Fails

By Jennifer Whiteford

Photo by Kristina MM

by Jennifer Whiteford, oneLifemaps Facilitator

My yoke broke.
The raccoon ate the greens.
I couldn’t get the right words out.
Critical phrases hounded my brain.
She never showed up.

Recently I passed some travel time by listening to an audio magazine talk about a new buzzword for professional women. Fast fails. Rack up your attempts to achieve knowing that many of them may fall flat. But… some will stick and you will be better for it. Launch the attempts quickly. Faltering is all part of it. Do it again and again. A new kind of failure designed to be guilt free and quite acceptable.

Who knew? Fast fails. They are suppose to get you somewhere.

I let that rattle around in my perfectionist brain for a few days, penetrating my hard shell of appearance while seducing my desire for adventure. Funny how a twist of words could possibly make me do what I never would have dreamed before. Something I’ve been praying for years… “God, I want to be more spontaneous. I want to climb a new peak. I need to sit when it hurts to stop. I want the courage to pay attention to that nudge and then face it.”

So I launched my own set of fast fails this month.
My yoke broke.
But I tried that new recipe.
I’m less intimidated by that pan.

The raccoon ate the greens.
But at least I attempted to grow peas from seed.
I now know what not to do next spring.

 I couldn’t get the right words out.
But I didn’t shut down in that argument, and I didn’t die trying.
Next time I will say more.

Critical phrases hounded my brain.
But I was brave and obeyed God when I was asked to step out in faith.
I actually discovered something new I enjoyed.

She never showed up.
But I followed my heart and invited her.
My playful heart of friendship is wounded but intact, and I will invite her again!

On my journey, I’ve chosen to make it a season of playing. Fast fails seemed to fit the bill. I’m jumping in, one eye open.

Psalm 23 (CJB)

ADONAI is my shepherd. I lack nothing.
He has me lie down in grassy pastures,
He leads me by quiet water,
He restores my inner person.

He guides me in right paths
For the sake of his own name.
Even if I pass through death-dark ravines,
I will fear no disaster; for you are with me;
Your rod and staff reassure me.

You prepare a table for me,
Even as my enemies watch;
You anoint my head with oil
From an overflowing cup.

Goodness and grace will pursue me
Every day of my life;
And I will live in the house of ADONAI
For years and years to come.

This year Psalm 23 has been a passage of adventure for me. The more I read it, the more I see new aspects of my Savior. He has so many facets and He asks me to join Him in play. From calm and serene to daring and romantic, I never know what is ahead.

Consider these questions around the idea of adventure:

  • Where is God asking you to step but you are afraid to fail?
  • What if you had permission, even an expectation to fail, and it would be okay? What would you attempt?
  • What is something small and curious that you might do this week to walk in adventure?
  • Who do you need to “invite in” that calls upon your brave heart?
  • With the idea of “play” in mind, reread the Scripture you have been recently meditating on. What new insights do you gain?

One comment on “Fast Fails”

  1. Jennifer, Your post really spoke to my heart in this season of growth. Asking myself the question, "when was the last time I did something for the first time?' has been lingering with me and your fast fails encourages me to try more "first times". Thanks for the way you've expressed your heart. I think we would be soul sisters enjoying life together if we lived closer and wish we did! I am discovering my creative, artistic side in the last few years which has been a joy and a huge connection to God for me. Would love to hear more about where you connect with Him, especially in the art arena.

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