“Failure is not an option.”
So goes the powerful quote from American aerospace engineer Gene Kranz regarding the Apollo 13 moon landing. Of course, this attribution may itself be a failure, since, apparently, screenwriter Bill Broyles put the famous words in Kranz’s mouth vis a vis the actor Ed Harris, who played Broyles in the blockbuster movie, Apollo 13.
In most cases – maybe in all cases where a human is involved – failure may not be an “option,” but it is an inevitability. We fail. If we are not somehow failing, then we are probably not risking or pushing enough. Failure to succeed in a noble effort is itself a noble thing. It is honorable to fail while trying valiantly. Such failure may actually be the catalyst to ultimate success.
Failure in a moral sense or failure as a human being is a harder pill to swallow. It may leave you defeated, depressed, abandoned. Worse, it may impact the innocent and lay on them the weight of defeat, depression, and abandonment.
When at first you don’t succeed in a noble cause, it is much easier to “try, try again.” Personal failure, betraying yourself or others, is different. There may be no second chance. If there is another chance, the damage may be such that what is restored will never look or feel the way it did before the fall.
Even the redemption of mankind through the blood of Christ is proof that the scars of human failure are not immediately healed. You may come to know Christ and yet struggle with the same addictions you did before or live with the consequences of yesterday’s failures. Salvation is immediate but sanctification and glorification are not.
If divine forgiveness does not completely erase or alter the inherent consequences of sin – Adam and Eve were never the same after the fruit incident and none of their children or descendants have experienced the paradise into which those two were created – then it stands to reason that humanity is not going to develop a cure-all, either,
Until this “mortal puts on immortality and this corruptible puts on incorruption,” as the Apostle Paul promises will happen for those who die as believers in Christ Jesus (1 Corinthians 15:53-55), we are left to deal with the fallout of the Fall and the consequences of our failures.
Be careful out there. It does matter what you do, what you say, where you go, and with whom.