Catalyst in the Adventure / by Kendall R


Road Work
Originally uploaded by iamkr
"The failures aren’t the story, only a catalyst in the adventure," is something I wrote a few weeks back in response to a blog post by Cali Harris, a.k.a. @Caligater. Sometimes, I say stuff and don't really pay attention to what it is that I am saying until someone else points it out...like Cali did. I am sure our mouths say what we didn't know to be true more often than not. As I have thought about it, the more I really do see the catalytic nature of failures, and that catalyst isn't towards destruction but something adventurous, and peaceful.

Then, I stumbled across something Dietrich Bonhoeffer may have written around 1934 in response to Hitler's rise to power: "How does peace come about? Through a system of political treaties? Through the investment of international capital in different countries? Through the big banks, through money?...Through none of these, for the sole reason that in all of them peace is confused with safety. There is no way to peace along the way of safety. For peace must be dared. It is the great venture. It is never safe. Peace is the opposite of security."

Failure is catalytic to adventure.

There is no way to peace along the way of safety.

Bonhoeffer's words were meant for a global, external context in some other time and space. They bother me enough to be internal, personal in the right here and now. (Isn't that the nature of truth, though?) It doesn't take much to see their relevance to the world scene, now, as peace, security and safety are topics non-grata among the talking heads of CNN, FOX, MSNBC. But how much do we consider these words in the quiet hours of morning staring at the ceiling, hiding under pillows?

I've found a peace through the adventures that have risen from my failures. Not a coping peace, nor a get-me-through peace. No, this kind of peace is something akin to what it feels like to be comfortable in one's own skin. And I don't think I would recognize it if I'd chosen safety, security. It might just be because in the failures, I have come to see what I wasn’t, where I was spending life on ventures that had so very little living in them.

It makes me wonder how much peace could actually come to the world if we spent less time fighting for safety, denying our failures and followed the catalytic daring venture that is the opposite of security.