After Sacharine takes the scrolls from Tintin and Captain Haddock, the constantly optimistic Tintin feels a brief moment hopelessness. Fortunately, Captain Haddock takes center stage here as he gives an inspiring speech to Tintin about “failure”.
Ever watching for favorite quotes in movies, this one comes at a time in my own ministry where I needed it most. I believe it’s the attitude we church leaders should adopt in life and ministry.
“There are plenty of others willing to call you a failure. A fool. A loser. A hopeless souse. Don’t you ever say it of yourself. You send out the wrong signal, that is what people pick up. Don’t you understand? You care about something, you fight for it. You hit a wall, you push through it. There’s something you need to know about failure, Tintin. You can never let it defeat you.”
Don’t let ministry pain and sacrifice defeat you! You are NOT a failure! One need only look at the Dictionary to discover its true meaning.
- A failing; deficience; cessation of supply, or total defect; as the failure of springs or streams; failure of rain; failure of crops.
- Omission; non-performance; as the failure of a promise; a man’s failure in the execution of a trust.
- Decay, or defect from decay; as the failure of memory or of sight.
- A breaking, or becoming insolvent. At the close of a war, the prices of commodities fall, and innumerable failures secceed.
- A failing; a slight fault. [Little used.]”
– As cited by http://www.1828-dictionary.com/d/word/failure, accessed 4/09/2012.
Are you a failure? NO! Simply because you have sacrificed self and have picked up scars along the way does NOT make you a failure!
Failure is to not operate by design! To not function at all! Are you still breathing? Still walking this earth? God is NOT DONE WITH YOU YET!
Listen to the words again from Captain Haddock… “you can never let it defeat you.”
Too spiritual for an animated movie to touch your heart? Listen to Oswald Sanders talk about self-sacrifice in Spiritual Leadership: Principles of Excellence for Every Believer, then.
“Scars are the authenticating marks of faithful discipleship and true spiritual leadership. It was said of one leader, “He belonged to that class of early martyrs whose passionate soul made an early holocaust of the physical man.”
Nothing moves people more than the print of the nails and the mark of the spear. Those marks are tests of sincerity that none can challenge, as Paul knew well.
“Let no one cause me trouble for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus” (Galatians 6:17).
Hear the poetic salve by Amy Carmichael, as quoted in Spiritual Leadership on page 117.
“Hast thou no scar?
No hidden scar on foot, or side, or hand?
I hear thee sung as mighty in the land,
I hear them hail thy bright ascendant star:
Hast thou no scar?
Hast thou no wound?
Yet, I was wounded by the archers, spent.
Leaned me against the tree to die, and rent
by ravening beasts that compassed me, I swooned:
Hast thou no wound?
No wound? No scar?
Yes, as the master shall the servant be,
And pierced are the feet that follow Me;
But thine are whole. Can he have followed far
Who has no wound? No scar?”
My fellow church leader… Tintin has much to say about moving through the pain of ministry. We sacrifice ourselves for others. When we encounter pain in ministry, or we feel like a failure, we rush into beating ourselves up when God intends to hammer us into something much more pure. When you hit a wall, push through it. When the pain of ministry and self-sacrifice becomes unbearable and movies like Tintin don’t nudge us forward, grab our arms. Reach out. Join the Campfire. What say you?