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Everybody Does Time In The Cave!
1 SAMUEL 22:1.
Psychologist Daniel Goleman says that, above all else, what distinguishes top
performers in every fi eld is their ‘enthusiasm and persistence in the face of setbacks.’
Your response to failure is more important than your IQ, looks, charm or money.
So why does failure energise some people and paralyse others? For a while, David
couldn’t lose; everything he touched turned to gold. Samuel anointed him to be the next
Lord, I pray that
king, he defeated Goliath, Saul chose him as a warrior and musician; the army loved
him and wrote songs about him. But then he lost it all. His job and his marriage failed,
through the times
Samuel, his old mentor died, his best friend Jonathan couldn’t help him and Saul’s
when parts of my
soldiers hounded him so much that he had to hide in a cave.
life seem as if they
Eventually, everybody does time in the cave! It’s where you end up when all your earthly
are being stripped
supports are gone; your boss gives you your P45; you’re in debt up to your ears; your
away, You would
dreams have shattered; you’ve lost someone dear to you; your health is failing. But the
truly mould and
hardest part about being there is thinking, ‘God’s forgotten me. I’ll never get out, I’ll die
shape me for the
future. I pray that
The cave is where you learn things about yourself you could never learn anywhere else. You give me a new
It’s also where God does His best work in moulding and shaping you, because now all sense of purpose.
your other props are gone. Now all you’ve got is God, and you discover He’s enough! It’s
Let me learn about
where your worst inadequacies confi rm that you’re out of your league, and God sends His
myself in this
power to fl ow through your weakness. Welcome to the cave.
season, to end up
being someone
The Cycle Of Lethargy
that has a deeper
walk with You.
1 SAMUEL 30:8.
After losing everything at Ziklag, David could have said, ‘I think I’ll just stay in this
cave the rest of my life and let Saul be king.’ Instead, he asked God what his next move
should be and God said, ‘Go after them; you will recover everything that was taken from
you!’ When David obeyed these words he got back everything he’d lost and
re-established his leadership. Taking action is very powerful! One single step forward
can rob failure of its destructive power. The reason failure paralyses us is that we don’t
take the time to understand why we failed in the fi rst place and then work to change
it. Instead, we wait for some outside force or person to rescue us, when all the time
God’s calling us to act. When you’re worried about failing, the worst thing you can do is
nothing! Failure can be a tremendous motivator, especially when it drives you to make
changes leading to new levels of understanding.
Writing about what he terms the ‘cycle of lethargy’, psychologist David Burns says,
‘When I’m faced with a challenge and do nothing, it leads to distorted thoughts that
I’m helpless, hopeless and beyond change. Those in turn lead to destructive emotions;
loss of energy and motivation, damaged self-esteem and feeling overwhelmed. The
end-result is self-defeating behaviour; procrastination, avoidance and escapism. These
negative emotions reinforce one another and the whole cycle spirals downward.’ When
you act and win, it’s glorious. When you act and lose, it’s painful, but it’s not failure.
Failure is refusing to act at all!
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