If some experience has made you feel like you are a failure, maybe it's time to reconsider things - see them in a new light.
A while ago, I had one of those times when I felt I'd failed at something for which I had truly tried hard. I was tempted to chew myself out about it.
Then I began to think about things differently. This change of view didn't come about all at once. But little by little, I began to see different aspects of the experience that showed me how much I'd grown. I became aware of some significant steps that had been taken. In the end, I saw, there had been good results from all my labors. I saw that my honest effort to achieve something good was not a failure at all, even though I had not achieved my original objective. I felt encouraged.
What brought this new view of myself and of this experience was my prayer. Just how did I go about it? I prayed a specific kind of prayer, the kind of prayer that Jesus Christ taught.
In the book of Mark in the Bible, Jesus is quoted as saying, "I tell you, whatever you pray for and ask, believe you have got it, and you shall have it" (11:24, "A New Translation," by James Moffatt). All our right and good thinking comes from God and expresses God. I had been praying to achieve good results in my work. And I knew that through my prayer God would give me the right understanding I needed in this experience. Every time we pray to know and do what is good, God answers our prayer.
If we are tempted to think of ourselves as fault-ridden mortals, we miss the mark; we fall short of the good we are capable of right now, this moment. To chew ourselves out for what we've missed out on or for mistakes we've made is a little like driving a car that gets stuck in the mud. We can't move forward when we're focused on faults.
That was the first lesson I learned. Praying to God, to understand Him better and to become more like Him, turns our thought away from ruminating on what we regret or wish we had done differently. God is Mind. He is all-powerful, all-knowing, ever present. His intelligence is perfect and unerring, never limited, upset, or anxious. As God's children, you and I are the reflection of this Mind.
Pray every day to express more qualities of the divine Mind. Know that you include those qualities. "Never be anxious, but always make your requests known to God in prayer and supplication with thanksgiving; so shall God's peace, that surpasses all our dreams, keep guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 4:6, 7, Moffatt). This is keeping in mind what is true, worthy, just, pure - in other words, staying mindful of all that is excellent. That is how God, the divine Mind, knows each of us - as excellent.
It is right to recognize a mistake as just that. But once a mistake has been seen in a correct light, we can move on, through prayer, to higher ground, literally replacing mistaken ways of thinking.
You can pray by endeavoring to see yourself consistently in God's likeness, as the image of perfect Mind, the direct expression of this Mind. Then you know that you have what you ask for in prayer. As Jesus taught, we should believe that we have what we pray for and should expect to see proof of it.
Mary Baker Eddy, who founded this newspaper, wrote in the textbook of Christian Science: "Thoughts unspoken are not unknown to the divine Mind. Desire is prayer; and no loss can occur from trusting God with our desires, that they may be moulded and exalted before they take form in words and in deeds" ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," Pg. 1).
Each day brings a new opportunity to achieve good. To prove that we are not failures. To move forward in life. To express the perfect qualities of the divine Mind that are ours as God's likeness.
They shall not labour in vain,
nor bring forth for trouble;
for they are the seed of the
blessed of the Lord, and their
offspring with them.