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Nov 11

Lessons from Disappointments

Posted by: Steve Marr

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We all face disappointments occasionally.  As adults many of us commit to work through these challenges. Most of us just muddle along and learn as we go. 

When each of us experiences disappointment, regardless of age. we need to be able to talk through setbacks with others. Additionally, we need to go to the Lord and ask for grace to accept the disappointment. We also endeavor to learn from these experiences.

Steve played the French horn in high school. The large school had two bands, one for mostly 9th and 10th graders and one known as the symphony band for more advanced students. Steve learned that he was not promoted to the symphony band. Upon reflection he recognized he hadn’t been disciplined in his practice. That’s when Steve started practicing in the band room before and after school. At times. the director came in and shared a private lesson without charge. Because of Steve’s change in behavior and increased discipline, the director altered his previous assignment and placed him in the symphony band. 

Emma was a talented singing, dancing, and acting talent through her local Christian school. She decided to try out for a community play and was offered a rather small role below her skill level. While disappointed, she embraced this role and executed it extremely well. Later, the director acknowledged that she made a significant error in not casting Emma in a larger role. The director further acknowledged that she often passed over new people auditioning in favor of those she knew well. As a result of her experience with Emma, the director changed her behavior to become more open-minded toward new talent.

The individuals in each of these situations learned to embrace significant lessons. Ken needed to understand that his track talent was limited. While he could enjoy running for recreation and good health, competitive track was not within his gift mix. He needed to seek other open doors.

Steve learned that to advance to his school’s symphony, he needed to be diligent in practice and do his part. He accepted that his initial failure was his responsibility for not practicing. When he embraced his responsibility with disciplined practice, promotion followed.

While disappointed with a small acting part, Emma took being overlooked as a significant growth step. It became a growth point for the director and benefited Emma as well as other students who would receive a better opportunity through the audition process.

When we are disappointed, Scripture reminds us that “We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28, ESV) Disappointment is difficult for all of us, but when we embrace those moments, learn from them, and help others learn from difficult circumstances; the Lord’s blessings will follow.

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