“You are not a Failure”

A Mere Insect

If you haven’t seen “A Bug’s Life” then this post might not make the most sense. For those of us who haven’t seen the movie in a long time, A Bug’s Life is the story of a misfit creative ant, who is not appreciated by his fellow ants.

Exhibit A:

 

Despite not being appreciated for what he naturally is, Flik has a heart for others who are also under appreciated and misunderstood.

Shortly after this scene, Flik manages to screw up pretty badly and he is sent on a false mission to go and find warrior bugs to help the ants fight off the grasshoppers. Ironically, he stumbles upon misunderstood creatives as well who lie to him in order to make a living.

As a child this movie was just entertaining to watch, but as an adult, this movie resonates on a whole different level. A major theme that the movie revolves around is the concept of changing who you are so that society and those you care about will accept you. Basically, live a lie so that you’ll fit in.

At one point in the movie, Flik lies to everyone in order to try and be accepted. But like most lies, unraveling occurs and Flik ends up banished. This scene follows his banishment and the people that he has encouraged in the past are now trying to encourage him.

 

 

“Forget everything I ever told you alright Dot? Let’s face it the colony is right, I just make things worse. That bird is a guaranteed failure… Just like me.”

This scene used to just be the turning point of the movie but recently, this scene took on a whole new meaning for me.

 

The Correlation

I’m about to turn 23 this week and recently I’ve been struggling with the thought that I am one year older yet no closer to finding out what my purpose is. Most people know what they want to do at this point and are on a set course, and here I am, drifting further and further away from any clarity.

Like Flik, I have many ideas and I value those who society marginalizes and labels as insignificant. However, just like Flik, I see the trail of failures that lay behind me. The major I couldn’t stay in, the jobs I could not land, the 100 concepts or plans and ideas that I started forming but could not finish, the friendships that I did not save. As easy as it is to say some encouraging line and insert Jesus in there somewhere, when it comes down to real life, sometimes it’s hard to focus on the positive.

I feel like the psalmist that wrote Psalm 42. I’m constantly having a dialogue with myself and asking myself why I am so depressed about not knowing exactly what to do next. I love this psalm because the end of the chapter has no real closure. Did he ever win the dialogue with his soul? Did he ever find a way to not be downcast? I’d like to think so, but the ambiguity is something that I find so precious because it reflects how we feel in real life: we don’t know why we are disappointed in ourselves and we don’t know if it will ever end, or if it will be a fight to believe that we have purpose every single day.

 

Misfit

There’s this song/rap that has been really pulling me through this season along with a clutch best friend, an encouraging family, an affirming girlfriend, and a few friends that have reminded me that life is worth living.

The song is Outsiders by Lecrae. Check it out here:

My favorite part is when he says,

“I failed at being you, but I’m winning at being me
I’m winning at being free, ain’t no competition but me
See I realize that I’m free
And I realize that I’m me
And I found out that I’m not alone, and there’s plenty of people like me
I said there’s plenty of people like me
All outsiders like me
All unashamed and all unafraid to live out what they supposed to be

-Lecrae

If we live life to meet the standards that we are measured by, then we will most likely end up feeling like failures because we are living our lives for someone else. I don’t know what being “unafraid  to live out what I’m supposed to be” means for me yet, but that doesn’t mean that I should just give up attempting to find out what that means for me specifically.

Like the psalmist, I’m gonna wrestle with my soul ambiguously, and some days will be victories while other days will be defeats, but hey, it is better to live a life in which I am my own person rather than living a life that is dictated by what people say I should be.

We are all like seeds that have yet to be trees. To become the tree, there are so many process that occur and it turns into one lengthy lifelong journey. Should we be frustrated that we aren’t fully grown in 23 years?

I don’t think so.

This is for the misfits.

I see you and I empathize with you.

Let’s stop the charade of being like everyone else.

 

 

Anomaly
Deviation From The Common Rule
Somethin’ or somebody that’s abnormal,
And dosen’t fit in
I say that’s exactly what we are.
We are the odd,
The outcast,
The peculiar,
The Strangers.
And they say we don’t fit in
But I say, we are exactly who God created us to be: anomalies
The system didn’t plan for this.

 

-Lecrae

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