Resilience: the ability to bounce back
What happens when something doesn’t bounce? It falls flat!
Most things in this world do not bounce. In fact, that is true of people as well. We are more likely to fall flat on our faces than bounce. You have to look no further than the many bloopers videos to see people falling on their faces.
But that doesn’t stop with comical YouTube videos. Throughout history and Scripture we have seen countless people fall flat on their faces and fail. I think of Lot’s wife as she turns towards her old home or Saul’s pride as his kingdom fell apart.
So if we usually fall flat, what does it take for us as Kingdom workers to bounce back? I attended a conference called Colab 2013 in Chicago last week where we talked about resilience and what it takes to continue on even when we experience significant blockers or trials. Two points stuck out in our discussion:
1. Allowing failure: We have to make failure acceptable if we are to survive long-term. If the only possible outcome of our endeavors is stunning success, we will be set up for defeats that we cannot handle or deal with constructively.
2. Feedback loops: If we do not have many different kinds of feedback loops set up within our lives, it will be very hard to handle the ups and downs of leadership. But if we are getting input and making corrections, we can maneuver through those times that might leave others lying on the floor in pain.
As I have thought about this idea of resilience over the past few days, I realize that I want it badly. I don’t want the result of my efforts to lead to a dramatic “made-for-TV” ending. Instead, I want to be in a place where I am able to respond to my situation, understand my reality and make the Spirit-led decisions that God expects of me.
Are you resilient or are you trapped in a world