“When you try your best but you don’t succeed…”

Say what you like about Coldplay but i think Chris Martin is one of the be lyricists of the last 20 years.

Their songs may often be depressing and melodically predictable but the words that they write make you think, hence the title of this post. So this line has really got me thinking over the last few weeks as i have been going through some things.

I was always told when growing up “all you have to do is your best and it will all be OK” which at the time i found comforting but now later on in life it has got me thinking that maybe all i have to give isn’t good enough in a lot of areas. I have always been competitive so it is a harsh realization that the best i can give sometimes isn’t enough, so what am i supposed to do when i literally cant give any more, when there is no way i can improve or when my best just simply isn’t what someone is looking for.

I have always been very happy that i can turn my hands to most things (with the exception of DIY, ive had enough banged fingers and bent screws to accept I will never be a master DIY-er) but recently i have been pondering “have i been wasting my time on lots of things when i should have been focusing on getting really good at one thing.” From a very young age i have been involved in a number of things which was always amazing; Football, Ice Hockey, Swimming, Karate, Tug of War, You name it i have probably given it a go at some stage of my life. The thing is I have always craved diversity, not change i hate change, i have always enjoyed the initial honeymoon period of learning/doing something new but this craving has meant that i was always the second best, runner up or not quite good enough to make the team.

Recently in the ministry area that i feel most passionate about, Worship, i was told that i need to take some time off and develop musically and all the feeling from being a young footballer, fighter or pupil came flooding back and i felt something that i haven’t in years, that i have tried focusing on so many things that the thing that i love the most and am most passionate about has suffered and i have become ‘not good enough’. As an aside there has been no communication from the amazing leaders that oversee me that I’m ‘not good enough’ they have been nothing but loving and are just doing what is best for this area and i totally agree with the decision, but it doesn’t make it hurt any less.

Let’s put this into a setting that make sense to me…. Rocky III. My life sometimes feel like Rocky III is playing on loop over and over again. Here’s is what i mean, Just like the Italian Stallion i have points in my life where i feel that i am the greatest at what I’m doing, Just like Balboa when he’s ‘The Champ’ posing for camera’s, getting his face on cereal boxes and beating the crap out of Hulk Hogan, but for me its i made a great proposal at work, the Worship set i lead at the weekend went amazing because i didn’t hit any bum notes or i beat the crap out of Hulk Hogan (That last one may be a lie) but just like in the movie something knocks me back, thankfully its not Mr.T’s ferocious left hook. The things that have knocked me back is receiving brutal feedback or making a stupid mistake at work and all that i felt days or sometimes even hours before comes crashing down in one swift knock out punch of ‘your not good enough’.

Now unfortunately i don’t have Apollo Creed to wear USA flag shorts and sing James Brown to help me through a montage to get better and suddenly be Tom 2.0 and be a complete bad ass, like in Rocky III. I’m left with the same feeling of I’ll just have to find something else to be good at and the cycle starts over again but i don’t think i have ever beaten my ‘Clubber Lang’, it always seems that I’m stuck in that horrible place of being face down on the canvass wondering whats going on.

This time feels different though *Cue the 80’s montage music* because i have see the pitfalls that have beat me before, Comparison, Self Pity, Filling my time with a new venture. I have never been so passionate about anything as i have about this area, I having an inner yearning screaming “This is what you were made to do!”.

So how do i plan to succeed in something where I’m currently giving it my all and its not enough?

“if you’re willing to go through all the battling you got to go through to get where you want to get, who’s got the right to stop you?” – Sylvester Stallone, Rocky Balboa

“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31

What I’m trying to say by quoting these 2 amazing theologians is that i know this is something I’m called to do and know that its not going to be easy but i will choose to keep going even through the ups and downs.


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