Lessons In Truth - Lesson 11 - Annotation 6
Do apparent failures sometimes lead to success?
6. When we view them impersonally, we find that sometimes failures do actually prove to be successes. Too often we judge only by the initial appearance of a situation, rather than following the injunction of Jesus to "Judge not according to appearance, but judge righteous judgment" (John 7:24).
It is true that some conditions come to our life that are produced by ignorance or deliberate disobedience to the laws of God, and cannot at the time be considered as associated with success. However, if through the desperate desire to be released from such unhappy conditions we begin to search for God and His orderly way of freedom, then in one sense these apparent failures become the means of leading us to success. If, on the other hand, we make no attempt to climb higher but remain bitter, frustrated, unhappy, and a slave to negative conditions, we will continue to fail in our undertakings.
Many are the stories of people who have seemed to fail in some particular endeavor, but through their apparent failure have been impelled into their right place in life where they became successful. For example, a businessman has become an artist; an artist has become a writer; a lawyer has become a statesman; and all this because something in the first chosen profession seemed to point to failure, but in reality it only opened the door to a different field of service that brought success. The story of Joseph as recorded in Genesis, beginning with the 37th chapter, bears out this truth. Joseph, in expressing his forgiveness to his brothers, said "And as for you, ye meant evil against me, but God meant it for good" (Gen. 50:20).
In paragraph 23, the text brings out that we may feel we have failed to demonstrate over sickness, but that this seeming failure has sparked the impulse to seek our indwelling Father-Mother God (Emilie Cady Lessons In Truth 11:23). This contact enables us to receive the particular spiritual gifts that can produce in mind, body, and affairs the good we long for, and thus know true success. The small child may walk well when upheld by an adult, but there comes a time when he must begin to walk by himself. He may fall a few times before he is able to depend entirely on himself. The same thing often happens to us in our spiritual growth, but we must come to know that anything that causes us to grow spiritually is a success; it makes active one or more of the spiritual gifts of which we were not previously aware. We can make the apparent periods of failure into opportunities for the fuller expression of our Christ self.
Our text calls apparent failures "transition periods" (Emilie Cady Lessons In Truth 11:25). Whenever these periods come it is vital that we avoid an attitude of doubt as to God's power at work, We must not be discouraged or disheartened at what we may consider a failure as an opportunity to let God's laws work in us and in our affairs. Even after we have been diligent in the use of denials and affirmations, and faithful to our prayer times, sometimes periods come that are confusing and disturbing. We then may wonder why we have failed to demonstrate. In reality the consciousness and the body are going through a process of adjustment, for as the text says, "Old ways must die" (Emilie Cady Lessons In Truth 11:23). They will give way to the miracle-working power of God, bringing fulfillment and success. Some metaphysicians have termed this adjustment period "chemicalization." Charles Fillmore gives this explanation in Mysteries of Genesis 71:
"Whenever a new idea is introduced into the mind, the personality is disturbed. It resists; but the spiritual idea is always more powerful than the personal, and with this resistance comes more or less commotion in the consciousness. This is called chemicalization. ... Those who have entered into this process of spiritual evolution, or what Jesus called the regeneration, are prepared for the reception of these new ideas, and instead of resisting they say with Jesus, 'Not my will, but thine, be done.' This attitude opens the way for the easy advent into their consciousness of God ideas and leads to an inspiration or steady flow of ideas into it."
Preceding Entry: If a person has had healing power and it seemingly leaves him, how should he regard this change?
Following Entry: What is the Holy Spirit?