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All That Is Fair: Dare You to Move


Failure is universal.  All of us at some point will fail at something.  Most likely we will fail at lots of things.  Some of these things will be big and some of them will be small…  The boy who asks his crush out on a date only to be rejected, the girl who doesn’t get asked to dance at the cotillion, the kid whose garage band has a chance to play in front of the whole school and forgets every word he’s supposed to sing (this really happened to me!), the woman who puts herself out there to get a promotion only to see it handed to someone else, the man who thought he was making positive changes but whose wife files for divorce anyway… This list could continue ad nauseum.  There is no end to the variety and depth of our failures.  Things often don’t work out as planned because we are sinned against, and because we sin against others and ourselves.  And often failure just happens and it’s no one’s fault.  We live in a broken-down and decaying world.  Sometimes in that world bad things happen in spite of all of the good effort we put forward to tend the gardens of our lives.  Dr. Seuss said it best:

“You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the speed.
You’ll pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead.
Wherever you fly, you’ll be best of the best.
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest…

Except when you don’t because sometimes you won’t…

I’m sorry to say so but, sadly, it’s true that bang-ups and hang-ups can happen to you.
You can get all hung up in a prickle-ly perch.  And your gang will fly on. You’ll be left in a lurch.”

But, what does that say about us?  If you’re me, (and you’re not, but I can’t speak for you so i’ll just say, “If you’re me”) you will internalize the message of the failure.  It will reinforce the script you’ve been writing about yourself since you were very young. The script says, “I AM a failure.  I have nothing good to offer the world.  I am not worth anyone’s trouble.”  When failure comes, and it will, this is how most of us interpret its meaning.  Shame calls out from within and tells us these lies about ourselves. Shame is what declares “I must not be enough because I failed.”  However the truth is in stark contrast to our internal dialogue.  I do fail, but I am not a failure.  I do worthless, terrible things, but I am not a worthless, terrible person.  Adam and Eve did a bad thing for sure, but they were exactly the same people about whom God declared they are “good” and their union was “very good.”

So now what?  If the truth is that we will definitely fail, but we are definitely NOT failures, then what to do?  One of my favorite bands, Switchfoot, has a song that contains a pretty good answer.  The song “Dare You to Move” basically says, “I know you fell, I know it’s hard, but GET UP! Everything is going to be ok!”  I will listen to this one often because I resonate with the tension it describes.  I feel stuck between the way things are and how they should be.  Somewhere in the middle of that tension the call to get up and walk through it rings out.  It’s this call that will lead us back to ourselves and back to God when failure comes.  Where else are you gonna go?

Welcome to the Planet
Welcome to existence
Everyone’s here
Everyone’s here
Everybody’s watching you now
Everybody waits for you now
What happens next?
What happens next?

I dare you to move
I dare you to move
I dare you to lift yourself up off the floor
I dare you to move
I dare you to move
Like today never happened
Today never happened before

Welcome to the fallout
Welcome to resistance
The tension is here
The tension is here
Between who you are and who you could be
Between how it is and how it should be

I dare you to move
I dare you to move
I dare you to lift yourself up off the floor
I dare you to move
I dare you to move
Like today never happened
Today never happened before

Maybe redemption has stories to tell
Maybe forgiveness is right where you fell
Where can you run to escape from yourself?
Where you gonna go?
Where you gonna go?
Salvation is here

I dare you to move
I dare you to move
I dare you to lift yourself up off the floor
I dare you to move
I dare you to move
Like today never happened,
Today never happened
Today never happened
Today never happened before