i do believe that it possible to fail well. failure doesn't have to be the final word on whether or not a venture was successful. this is a cognitive block for a lot of folks, myself included, but it's true nonetheless: failure is not necessarily the obliteration of success. it's all a matter of perspective; what i THOUGHT success would look like might not be the end result, but that doesn't mean that nothing successful was accomplished.
the bottom line is that God reigns. God reigns over all things. my car. politics. my job. the weather. life and death. money. poverty. starvation. destruction. growth. aging. desires and passions. depression. pain. suffering. joy. relationships. geography. every hair on my head. every breath that sustains my life. every blink of my eyes and every word of my tongue. every sound that i hear, every touch that i feel, every moment i live. every moment you live. every moment they live. God reigns.
and what He calls success often happens in the midst of what the world would call failure. so the question is: do i look at God through the world's perspective of my circumstances, or do i look at my circumstances and the world through God's perspective?
this is where i fail at failing. because when i 'fail' according to MY terms (which are aligned with the world), instead of embracing the opportunity for growth and intimacy with the God of all grace, i mull and wallow and burden myself with guilt and despair. whereas, if i were willing to take my pathetic failures and cast them before the all-able cross of Christ, i might see a phoenix rise from the ashes, more beautiful, more new, more wonderful, more successful than i ever could have imagined. or done on my own.
for it is only in the face of Christ that i can be victorious even while i am in the throes of utter defeat. it is only in the embrace of Christ that i can see success when i am plagued by chronic failure. it is only in the all-powerful reign of Christ that i see pure, true, beautiful GOOD come from the darkest, most corrupt places of my heart.
and if THAT doesn't throw me to my knees in wonder and adoration ...
... then i have really failed.