It has to be said, people mess up and disappoint us. We disappoint each other and it seems it is inevitable. The question we ask ourselves is, what happens after?
Ron Howard was a guest on a show and the host asked him who he liked to work with the most; Ron said he liked to work with successful, competitive, professional athletes.
That seems reasonable when you think about it. To reach that level in competition an athlete has to have drive, determination, and be focused. Maybe even a degree of ruthlessness. But none of these are what Ron mentioned in the interview.
Ron Howard said the reason he preferred to work with this caliber of an athlete was that a successful athlete knows how to lose. But more importantly, that athlete knows how to keep going afterward.
It is important to know how to keep going afterward.
After the job is lost, do you keep putting in the applications even though no one is calling you for an interview? And more importantly, do you keep praying about it?
After the loss of a loved one, do you still love the Lord and keep praying?
After the honeymoon is over and you start seeing the defects in your mate, do you keep praying for that spouse? Do you thank the Lord for that spouse even when things aren’t going the way you want them to go?
After the loss in a competition, do you still keep praying?
The Bible says, “…to show that at all times they ought to pray and not lose heart.” (Luke 18:1)
Notice the “at all times” part of what Jesus said in that verse. Not just when we feel God has been good to us and we want to thank him. Not just when we feel we need something from him and ask him to provide it. Not just when those we love need his help but at “all times.”
Notice the “ought” part of the quote. The reason men and women ought to pray is because we need to be in fellowship with the very source of our being. When we lose that, we tend to become like the other creatures of this world; creatures of instinct incapable of making moral decisions (2 Peter 2:12-14). This tragedy is being seen in our streets today.
Notice the “pray” in this verse. Yes, we should pray and here’s why, because we need Him, not because He needs us!
Notice the last part. This may be the hardest part of what Jesus is telling his followers to do. “And not lose heart,” he says. This phrase means not to faint or to grow despondent or weary. To “lose heart” is the opposite of to endure or to remain steadfast. The parable which accompanies this admonition suggests that persistence in prayer pays off.
So what happens when you pray and God doesn’t answer your prayer the way you wanted him to? Do you give up or are you a professional and keep going?
You will stumble, you will fall, you will have storms, tempests, and other disasters or inconveniences in your life. It will matter what you do after these events. Will you pray? And will you keep praying? It’s what happens after that matters.