For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.

- Mosiah 3:19

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Being a spectaular Failure

I hope to fail with glory. I was inspired to do so by a line from the hymn, God Speed the right:

"If we fail/ we fail with glory..."

As a person of color, I am not blind to the blatant and many subtle forms of structural oppression. Nor am I ignorant to the fact, as a result of being forced to live in the margins, that I no longer see failure to live up to the standards of the logic of a capitalist society, and failure to live up to the logic of the heternormative order of the church as inherently bad things. Rather, I think I might revel in failure, if that failure means I get to continue making mischief in the margins, continue to fight for the underdog, continue to resist being institutionalized into capitalism, into a white heteronormative order (often undergirding the interpretation of how the gospel ought to be lived).

I think I can be a spectacular failure. I am certainly no stranger to it; I've failed in living up to the standards of the church, I've failed in being a capitalist success, I've failed in inspiring my colleagues and peers by simply using standard frames of reference to articulate knowledge. I've further failed in applying scriptures and gospel standards in ways that often comport with the culture of the church. If failure means to continue stirring up alternate ways of seeing, alternate ways of knowing, alternate ways of approaching God, I think I'd like to be glorious failure.

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