Saturday, 5 January 2013

Father Ignatius faces failure



Father Ignatius was sitting at his desk reading his morning mail when there was a knock at the door.

“Do come in,” he said in his jovial welcoming voice.

The door opened and a young man came in.

“Hello Timothy … I haven’t seen you for a while. Are you well?” asked the priest.

Timothy sat on the armchair by the window. He held his head in his hands and looked down without talking. The priest noticed that he was shaking a little … could he be crying?

“What’s wrong Timothy?” said Father Ignatius as he stood from his desk.

The young man looked up; his eyes were bright red from holding back the tears and trying to compose himself as best he could. Father Ignatius said nothing for a while and waited for Timothy to speak when ready.

“I’ve failed my driving test …” he finally blurted out, “my father will kill me … he paid a fortune for driving lessons!”

“I’ve known your father for a long time,” replied the priest calmly, “and I know for a fact he is not a killer!”

Timothy looked up and smiled a little.

“I take it you haven’t told him yet.”

“No … I ran straight here from the Test Center. I don’t know why … you can hardly do anything about it can you?”

Father Ignatius smiled at the apparent lack of confidence the youngster had in him. He turned to the cupboard behind his desk and came back holding a small camera.

“Do you mind if I take a photo of you?” he asked Timothy.

Timothy looked surprised and before he could say anything he heard the clicking sound from the camera.

“What … what did you do this for?” asked the confused youngster.

Father Ignatius put the camera on his desk and sat in a chair opposite Timothy.

“I just wanted to record this very moment in time ... for posterity do you understand ..." then after a moment's silence he continued, "Let me tell you something …

“Failure is sometimes necessary if we happen to learn from it.

“It is only a picture in time when you happen to click your camera and record it for posterity. Just as I’ve done right now … recorded your moment of failure.

“But if we were to move our camera pictures forward and see other pictures, the chances are that the individual we’ve photographed has learnt from his failure and gone on to greater success.

“When Christ hung dying on the Cross His followers saw failure.

“Here is a man whom many followed and listened to. As many as five thousand at one stage when He fed them loaves and fishes. They witnessed His many miracles and expected great things from Him. A new Ruler, a new King, someone to bring them freedom from their Roman oppressors. Yet here He is, beaten, tortured, humiliated and dying on a Cross amongst thieves.

“Failure indeed.

“Yet, a few more photos further on and we see the Resurrection, the Ascension into Heaven, the sending of the Holy Spirit, a new church born and growing from strength to strength several centuries later. We are redeemed from our sins.

“Everlasting success.”

The priest paused briefly.

“So it really depends on which picture we focus on. The one I’ve just taken of you, or the one in a few months’ time when you’re driving your car all by yourself?”

Timothy smiled.

“I’m sure your father will understand when you tell him your test result. He too was a learner driver once and he wants the best for you.”

“I’m sorry … I just panicked … I’d better get home now,” said Timothy.

“Remember Timothy” added the priest, “Failure is only what is recorded at a particular moment in time … and no more than that.

“Bear this in mind the next time a camera clicks to record your personal failures; and take courage in the knowledge that, with God’s help, you can turn your negative moments into positives for others to emulate.”

Timothy got up to leave.

“And don’t worry … there’s no film in this camera!!!” smiled Father Ignatius.

16 comments:

  1. so realistic, love it because it is not preacht or pedantic but the message is gloved in a story. I do that with real life stories but I should try fiction

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    1. Thank you Melanie. Sometimes we tend to see failure as the all and end of everything; but it can be a stepping stone to better things.

      God bless.

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  2. Great story! Great lesson. Love it. Thanks, Victor!

    God bless!

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    1. Thank you for your support and encouragement Colleen.

      God bless.

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  3. Loved this! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thank you Tina for visiting me. We look forward to your return and comments.

      God bless you.

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  4. Great post! Now I'm interested in reading more about Fr. Ignatius!
    I wrote a post about failure not too long ago, and during prayer I felt God telling me that failure isn't necessarily bad, or what we think it is.

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    1. Thank you Jose for your return visit. I'm pleased you enjoyed this story.

      There are other stories about Father Ignatius available in E Book format to be downloaded FREE. Please check the link at the top left of this page.

      God bless.

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  5. I love this post, Victor. I've been thinking along similar lines lately - the viewpoint from eternity rather than the viewpoint in time (which changes so quickly). Your story puts a different perspective on our "failures".

    God bless.

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    1. Yes Mary. Failure is only a moment in time.

      God bless you and thank you for visiting again.

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  6. Victor,I love the fact that there really wasn't any film in the camera. I think part of the problem with failure (at least for me) is we like to keep the pictures and review them over and over.
    If God doesn't keep a record...why should we? Father Ignatius is so wise.. ; )
    Blessings and +

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  7. Caroline you are very wise too. We often hold on to our past and our failures to the detriment of our present and future.

    God bless you.

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  8. Excellent points. We have to remember that we are not our failures. I loved the idea that it's a fleeting moment in time and that pictures in the future will show something else entirely. Very hopeful.

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  9. People tend to focus too much on their failures Barbara, rather than get up and try again and learn from their mistakes.

    God bless.

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  10. This is so healing. What a Divine understanding of those times when things don't work out the way we planned. Thank you for writing.

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words Lora and for taking the time to write.

      God bless you.

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God bless you.

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