How difficult it is to take failures, even small ones, I realised once again last week. After having driven cars for nearly 40 years in India and abroad, the examiner in Vienna failed me in my driving test. While some labelled it as a case of “anti-foreigner” syndrome, I painfully discovered how the feeling of failure and rejection dominated the rest of my day.
Though not always easy, fortunately there is an in-built mechanism in us human beings to defeat our failures and rejections for we are all part of God’s beautiful creation. The prayer of the Psalmist in the Bible reminds one, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” Prophet Isaiah expresses his experience of God even more beautifully: “Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you”.
The famous Dutch Catholic priest Henri Nouwen who combined psychology with theology and worked with mentally and physically handicapped people, wrote, “The real trap, however, is self-rejection. As soon as someone accuses me or criticises me, as soon as I am rejected, left alone, or abandoned, I find myself thinking, “Well, that proves once again that I am a nobody...”