At a workshop, I was asked to list my failures. The experience has stayed with me.
This acknowledgment is at the heart of Christianity.
A novel about baseball, wealth, and human frailty
Christopher Beha’s characters find themselves in pits, and the way out is not remotely clear.
This is true of failures in writing, in faith, in life itself.
On the way to the soup kitchen, I met a man with a loaf of bread.
We stood along the highway in a blizzard, trying to hitchhike. We started reciting Bible verses to pass the time.
The cross is anything but a success story. Failure and disappointment are at the heart of Christianity.
I lit the candles, opened the doors, picked up a handful of bulletins, and stood at the entrance. I smiled at a group of 15 students. One waved and then they turned and walked to the grocery store.
In response to our request for essays on the topic mistake, we received many compelling reflections. Here is a selection.
The miles of steep climbs were passing by like speed bumps. The surplus of downhills ahead of me foreshadowed a strong finish. Then, just over halfway through the marathon, I felt a twinge in my right achilles.
Americans are not very good with failure. We take it personally; we draw lines in the sand and cast blame. And the Chicago Public Schools are, for the most part, failing—failing to provide an environment that fosters teacher excellence, failing to provide a physical environment in which kids can learn, failing to graduate kids with the basic skills to succeed, failing to graduate kids at all.
At church, the loser appears right above the altar.