ANY THIRD GRADER COULD have told you the vaunted sky cycle leap across the Snake River Canyon on that sultry Sunday afternoon was a triple-A flop—a classic fizzle.
ANY THIRD GRADER COULD have told you the vaunted sky cycle leap across the Snake River Canyon on that sultry Sunday afternoon was a triple-A flop—a classic fizzle. The sky cycle, created by Dr. Robert C. Truax, gave up in mid-air; the driver floated to safety beneath a nylon cloud. But he didn’t sit long-faced in a dark corner. As bystanders shouted “Rip off!” he was thinking about write-offs. Anyone who can walk away from a failure with a smile, a bulging rear pocket, and his pride still intact must have something going for him. The six-million-dollar man was a two-wheeled wonder named Evel Knievel. Nobody in the long history of sports ever came off a more abysmal failure better than he. The remains of the flop cycle littered the canyon, but the man who took off like a bird made out like a bandit.
There’s an abiding truth in that Idaho extravaganza we ought to capture and cultivate: “The person who succeeds is not the one who holds back, fearing failure, nor the one who never fails, but rather the one who moves on despite failure.”
If anyone in Scripture had justification for fear of failure it would have been Joshua. He had some mighty big shoes to fill, following Moses! Yet as he stepped into his new role as shepherd of Israel, God issued the newly minted leader this command:
Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them. Be strong and very courageous.
God didn’t say, “Don’t blow it, Joshua!” There was no warning against failing . . . God understands our human limitations. What He desires is that when we do fail, we remain firm in our resolve to trust Him. To get back up and keep moving . . . not with a tentative, halting attitude, but with a strength and courage that flow from our confidence in Him.
If you’ve blown it, don’t sweat it. Make things right today, brush off your sandals and move back out in His strength and courage. It’s not that great a leap.