Today, I decided to wear purple eye shadow. As I was applying it, I thought about my first purple eye shadow. I was in Junior High School. My normal go-to make-up was pretty simple: Avon cream shadow (usually in frosted shades) and mascara. I was just beginning my forays into the world of Maybelline and powdered eye shadows. My mother received a box of samples and included in that box was a Charles of the Ritz eye shadow in a dazzling shade or purple. She gave it to me and I was thrilled. It became my favorite shadow. There was one small issue, however. When I wore it, my eye-lids would swell. But, it was such a pretty color, I just HAD to wear it, puffy eyes or not. Eventually, I did have to stop using it and that was a sad day for me. I kept that little sample, and looked at it on occasion.
I wondered if I would ever find a purple eye shadow in such lovely shade ever again. What if all purple shadows caused the same problem? Should I stop searching for purple eye shadow and just stick with the normal beige and taupe colors? Obviously, I didn’t eliminate all purple eye-shadows from my makeup selection. I have several of them in various shades, both cream and powder. I have purple eye-liners and lipstick and I’ve even used purple mascara. The only allergic reaction I’ve ever had was to that Charles of the Ritz purple eye shadow. I’m glad I didn’t write off all purple shadows because of one failure.
How many times, do we dismiss all possibilities because of one failure, one miss-step? None of us enjoy failing. I go out of my way to avoid failure or even looking silly. But, what have I missed because I didn’t give something or someone a 2nd or even a 3rd shot? It took many, many attempts before I learned to appreciate the taste of coffee. I didn’t think I would ever try sushi, much less like it. I didn’t give up driving after my first wreck, and I didn’t quit school the first time I scored less than a perfect grade. I’ve discovered that much of life’s great joys are found after trying and failing and trying again.
I love Habakkuk 3:19: “The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places.” I fell in love with this verse after I read Hinds Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard. It was through reading this book that I learned that I’m not expected to be perfect. I will fail. I will stumble. But, I must continue the journey. My strength comes from my Lord God as I MOVE forward. He will help and guide me. And, He will love me even when I fail, even when I whine, even when I give up.
We live in a society that doesn’t forgive. Our world is the first to stand up and point fingers at any failure whether it is real or perceived. The penalties for a lapse in judgment or a moment of weakness can be extremely harsh. The failure becomes a cancer that grows and outweighs anything else in a person’s life story. Nothing else can be seen. Only the ugly is magnified and discussed at length. Any attempt to bring balance to the situation is viewed as out-and-out disagreement and the mob mentality widens the target to attack anyone that does not “toe the line”.
Sometimes, I just have to laugh. What other option is there? People living in the big extravagant homes, driving the gas guzzling vehicles are often the very ones talking about waste and over-spending. The first ones to complain about lack of leadership are the last to volunteer to pick up the slack unless they can pick where and how they get to so. I’ve come to realize that the loudest voice usually has the least effect on positive change these days. Too often the “activist” is just the passive/aggressive bully that gets everyone else to do the work and only wants the credit.
So, I will do my best. I will attempt new things and retry some old things. I will continue the journey, treat others in the manner in which I would like to treated and trust that God will lead me to my destination. All while wearing the perfect shade of purple eye shadow.