We failed, but in the good providence of God apparent failure often proves a blessing.
General Robert E. Lee
In eighteen sixty five, the Union finally defeated the Confederate States in a very bloody Civil War. The war was fought for freedom that belongs to all men and women, no matter their race, religion, or anything else they deem important and true. We all deserve to be free, equal, and make out of life what we so deeply desire.
General Lee fought on the losing side. He failed to preserve the Southern States desire for independence. There is no doubt in my mind that the world is a much better place today because he lost. I am certain that his failure has turned out to be a great blessing. But lets not jump to the wrong conclusions and think that the ideology for which the civil war was fought was not extremely murky. History is much better written than lived. History demands certainty, but reality and truth is anything but.
There is a reason why another hundred years later for Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. had to continue to fight for his universal human rights, a right which had been apparently won so many years earlier.
But this is not about who won or lost, what is right or wrong, or the importance of universal human dignity. All those things are extremely important, but his words are powerful because they help us examine our own failures and unknown direction of our lives.
It is possible to do everything wrong in life, to fail and fail again, and find an opportunity where we miraculously triumph. Take Oscar Schindler for example. A German, a nazi, and a horrible business mind, yet… The same Oscar Schindler, will go down in history as the person who single handedly saved more Jews, than anyone else, who were certainly more capable and qualified.
Schindler and Lee have much to teach us. It is less important to find ourselves on the right side. It is less important to have things than it is to be open to opportunities. It is this openness that can yield a great harvest for both you and me.
It doesn’t matter how often we have tried and failed. It doesn’t matter what opportunities we have lacked our entire life. It doesn’t matter what our hangups and regrets are. Nothing really matters in one sense, except the present moment, and our ability to be present and act.
Sometimes our apparent failure proves to be a great blessing from God. We should definitely not feel comfortable or content to fail, but we should be discouraged or deterred from our dreams either.
These two men are a great example of being on the wrong side of things, but being the right person. The right person to act. The right person to dream. The right person to make a difference in someone else life.
Don’t ever give up. See things through to their very end and then no matter which side you find yourself on, begin again, continue on, because that is the reason you were given life to begin with.