Failure helps us focus.

31 Lessons from an Epic Beginner // 22: Failure helps us focus

Day 22 of 31 Lessons from an Epic Beginner

As much as words flow through my mind like lyrics, notes come out of my mouth off-pitch and not very musical. And I'm not just being humble about that.

There were hints of my tone-deafness as a kid, but I still had hopes of singing. Usually I did so in our school and church choirs where my voice could be lost in the crowd. Or disappear completely when I noticed I wasn't hitting the right notes.

In 6th grade I joined my sister and two of our friends for a couple singing opportunities. These were the first times my voice could be heard in the group, and would be noticed if I quit singing. These were also the first times I realized how bad off my voice was. It wasn't until I saw the videos after that I wanted to crawl under the sofa until the off-key screeching had left my ears.

Those were the last two times I considered myself a singer, and instead stuck with something more reserved like writing. Those two times revealed my secret: I have a hard time staying (or getting) on key.

And that's okay.


It isn't a loss. I don't lead worship services, have never sang in a talent show, and don't do special music for church. And I'm okay with that. Because failing in that one area frees me to put my focus in the gifts God has given me.

Writing and caring for my kids and leading small group discussions. The things I enjoy and do well and are appreciated by others. I have never received a compliment for my singing--not even a courtesy "good job." That seems to say something, because God doesn't receive glory when we do things badly.

He receives the glory when by His grace we are empowered and gifted and able to do things well. Or at least good enough. (Like singing with my kids for family worship--off tune is good enough.) But no one benefits from us putting our time and energy in doing something that we're terrible at, and especially after years having no signs of getting better.

It's time to let go of those things we fail in, and instead focus on the successes God has in mind for us.


Answer in the comments:

What is something you have "failed" at that actually freed you to focus on something else?

Day 22 of 31 Lessons from an Epic Beginner