Wednesday, December 25, 2013

My Daughter Grace Learns From Failures

Today is a day of great evidence of learning from failures. If Grace still did not learn from her 3 previous mistakes, she would fail again today for the fourth time during the car driving test. The car driving test looked so easy to some and yet it was so difficult. For the past one year, she learnt driving a car from a coach. She passed her law test. She passed her driving on the road. Then she failed 3 times consecutively in 45degree slope test. Because of these failures, she could not continue with the 3-point turning and L parking. The failures shook her confidence and it was so devastating to her! She wanted to give up trying. At first, she did not even want to discuss with me what her problem was. Each time she failed, I encouraged her to try again and I also told her I did not mind. The first two times she failed it did not bother me much as I believed she should be able to grasp the skill after more practices on the slope. However, she failed the third time. The third time she went for the test, I even called back from my journey to Ulu Belaga mission early in the morning and said a prayer to ask Jesus to give her confidence and I prayed against fear and failure; and I asked Jesus for success at that time. Yet, she failed. I reconciled with myself and explained that it was not God’s timing for her to drive a car yet. However, deep down in my heart, I felt that I need to do something to help her. I felt like as a father, I need to come in with strong support to make sure that she would pass this time. If not, I was afraid she would fail the fourth time. It could become a blow in her life experience. It was really a great test for her life. She must pass this time so that it could build up her confidence to move on in her life. My wife and I prayed for Jesus to open a way for us to help her. We knew the coach had done his best. Grace kept saying it was the problem of the clutch! The car for the driving test is having too high a clutch and she was not used to it! Yet, we did not have the privilege of training using the exact car for the test. We prayed about it. Praise the Lord for Jesus led us to think of the exact car type that the church owns, the small Kancil with manual clutch. Beside using the coach’s car for the usual practice, we use the church car to do more practices on the slope. This car is also having high clutch which Grace had to get used to. I sat beside her during the extra practices at the Road Transport practicing and exam ground; and observed what was her real problem. I instructed her on the coordination between the clutch, handbrake, brake and petrol paddles, and how much to release and the timing to put down the handbrake and release the clutch. All the previous failures had to do with untimely release of handbrake, insufficient clutch release and releasing the petrol paddle too soon. Rev Wong Kee Sing coached me on the timing to release the clutch on our way back from Ulu Belaga mission survey. I forgot about it. I was confident in coaching my daughter with this simple equipping. During Gace’s extra practices, she actually applied what her coach taught and I just came in to help her to identify the main cause of her 3 failures. We finally concluded that the main cause was the timing to release the high clutch. Her minor problem was not pressing the petrol paddle deep enough. I reinforced on these 2 points and got her to practice extra 5 times (about half an hour each time) before the test today. During the extra practices, I studied with her how soon to release the clutch, and how deep she should press the petrol paddle by using the church car which has a high clutch. Praise the Lord she herself realized the main cause of her failures. My wife also came in to coach her and both of us helped her to identify her real cause of failures. She herself really discovered by herself the cause of her failure. This identification actually ensured her to do the right correction. I believe if she had not discovered her own cause of failure and learnt from there, she would still fail the fourth time. After the third failure, I kept reminding her to trust Jesus to help her to pass this crucial life test. I said we need to pray and ask Jesus to help her to overcome anxiety, loss of confidence and fear. In fact, every time we practice together, we pray for Jesus to help and at the end of the training I always got her to thank God for the guidance. She understood my point and she trusted Jesus to do the test. Today, I was present to watch Grace to sit for the life crucial test. Before she went for the test, I prayed to bind the spirits of fear, anxiety and no confidence and cast them out! She also disciplined herself not to be talking to others before the test to keep calm. I also reminded her to grasp the opportunity to test the high clutch of the car she would use for the test so that she would know how much to release. Praise the Lord as I prayed somehow, she needed to wait for quite a few minutes before she went for the slope test. She had plenty of time to test the clutch. As she went up the slope, I continued to pray for Jesus to help her. On the top of slope, I realized my heart was beating so fast, I was so stressed! When she pressed the petrol so much (I could hear the loud engine noise from about 70m away) and then… I thought she was going to slip and failed again. I expected the worst to happen! That was the most anxious moment. Then, I saw that the car did not slip but she waited for quite many seconds to try again. I asked her what happened after the test, she said she sensed something was not right and that was why she did not proceed to release the clutch and handbrake. She actually stopped for many seconds in order to pray and asked Jesus for help to do the right thing. Then, she tried again confidently and calmly. I believed the Spirit of Jesus intervened at that crucial moment of pass or failure. Finally, she was able to pull over the slope steadily. I could imagine her emotion of joy, victory and release. As she came down the slope, I noticed that she stopped below the slope. I was anxious again for her as no driver did that before her. I was wondering what happened. Again, I prayed for Jesus to help her just in case she faced any difficulty. Later on, she told me, in fact she just stopped to say a prayer to thank Jesus for the success at the slope! As she proceeded to the 3-point turning and L parking, she just kept waving to me to tell me from far away that she succeeded. You could not imagine how excited I was in my heart at that moment as my daughter had passed this difficult test of her life. Then, she went on to do the other two slowly. Again I wondered why she took such a long time to do the 2. I did pray for Jesus to help again and again and I was anxious for her. I thought the exam officer might fail her any time. Later on, she told me her engine stopped several times owing to mishandling of the clutch in the midst of turning. She actually prayed to remain calm and restart the engine. In the end, she overcame everything and she emerged victorious! In fact, I did not know whether she passed or failed as she spent donkey years talking to the officer. I thought the exam officer was trying to tell her why he failed her. Finally, she came down from the shade where the officer stood to test the learning drivers. I could not wait for her to come near me to tell the result. I kept shouting from 70m away and asked if she passed or not. From far, she just kept putting up her two arms and waving. Was it a pass or a failure again? As she came running nearer, I saw her smiling face, then, I realized she must have obtained a pass. True enough, as she ran nearer, she answered me, she passed the test. She also shouted at the top of her voice to her mom in the car 40m away that she passed, in response to her question! If Grace was not humble to learn from her failures, she would fail again and she might not be able to take the blow. She would blame herself for her failure. Praise the Lord she is willing to admit her problem and rectify with us from there. I find that it is the same spiritually. In life, if we do not admit that we are proud, greedy, self-centered, having jealousy and unforgiveness and blaming others for our own problems as the main causes of our problems, we will not repent and learn, we will never progress in our relationship with Jesus, others and ourselves. Who wants to enjoy being with proud, selfish, and greedy people? Who wants to interact with people who have hatred and jealousy? Who wants to work with people who like to blame others for their own mistakes? We are our own greatest enemy. The moment you conquer your own enemy by admitting your own problem, mistake or sin, you learn to repent and improve to be a better disciple of Jesus. If not, no matter, how rich, capable, wise, and famous we are, we are still far behind. Therefore, let us be humble and admit our mistakes and even sin, so that we can learn. Will you? Pastor Law Hui Seng (23rd Dec, 2013, Miri) Posted by Teresa Han

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