Experimental Christianity – Failure 101


So my second experiment was to try and use technology a lot less. I’ve been failing miserably at it, for a few reasons. Firstly, I’ve done something to my shoulder and or back, which means I’ve been in relatively constant pain of sorts for most of the last two weeks. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I find that when I’m not well anything that isn’t absolutely ingrained as a habit doesn’t stick! So whilst I’ve managed to keep finding my ten minutes a day for quiet, I haven’t had much patience for Experiment #2. In addition to my health complaints, I’ve been too lazy to get new batteries for my alarm clock and so have “had” to use my phone instead.

Consequently, I’ve slept badly, worked late, and spent too long first thing in the morning reading far too much of the internet – and then being late for work.

This has taught me two things:

Lesson 1: Be more organised, and support yourself

It’s no good trying out these experiments if I’m setting myself up to fail. If I’m going to avoid technology, I need to make sure that I have the tools I need (like, my alarm) and that I create myself incentives to actually take part in the experiment. Weirdly, the thing that worked for me was buying a bunch of LUSH products that make me not want to rush out of bed to work and miss having a shower. Whatever works…

Lesson 2: Grace

Last night I watched an old Rob Bell DVD with a student group I’m involved in at church. The short version of it is this: God forgives you. Nothing you do is beyond redemption. It reminded me that It’s OK to fail. If you’re grumpy and your back is hurting and everything feels like a lot of effort, it’s OK to fall back on to your habits for a while. The important thing is to pick yourself back up when you can and carry on. In Rob’s words, “You don’t have to live like this“.

It’s all too easy to fall into legalism and to be disappointed when you don’t feel like you’ve tried very hard. But that’s precisely what grace is for. To remind us that it’s OK.



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Ben is one of the founders and editors of New Roots. When he isn't managing the web site, he can usually be found working on his web design agency or down the pub discussing theology.

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