Inspirational Thought: Perfect Failure

Inspirational Thought: Perfect Failure

Too often in my life, I’ve feared failure. Justified or not, many times I have feelings of inadequacy. Could my attempts at life ever make a difference?

When my children were young, I worried I couldn’t be a good enough mother. The thought process was a familiar one. An insecure emotion would overtake me, and I would try to fight it off. One summer day I stood with my family on vacation in Philadelphia and listened to the guide talk about the story of the Liberty Bell, not expecting to hear anything that could help me with my fear of failure. Unknown to me, I was about to receive an object lesson for living my life.

I stared along with other tourists at the Liberty Bell, an icon of freedom and the Declaration of Independence. I waited to hear some profound story about the bell which since childhood had been up there in my mind as being perfect.

“In 1773,” the guide said, “Issac Norris was mortified that with a stroke of the bell, it cracked. Two Philadelphia foundry workers, John Pass and John Stow, were given the job to recast the cracked bell which ended in failure. Everyone hated the tone of the bell and any attempt to recast or reorder another bell ended in disaster.” The guide lifted the edge of his mouth in a half-smile. “They hired someone who didn’t know enough about casting a bell.”

Flabbergasted, I gawked at one of the most famous icon I’ve ever known. The bell has been a profound symbol of freedom and liberty for generations yet was imperfect. I realize I needed to give God my inadequacies and trust him to work out wonderful, perfect things. In his kingdom my work can live on and BE successful because of him, not me.

Now when I have fear failure, I remember the Liberty Bell.

God strength is made perfect in weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9

2 thoughts on “Inspirational Thought: Perfect Failure

  1. Karen, this is a wonderful object lesson. Right on point. Especially today to remind us that we are a nation of cracked pots and will be ’til Jesus comes. But by His strength and His power, He is willing to use our imperfections to bring glory to Him.


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