Facing Failure

This week’s eNewsletter feature
was written by Rev. Raymond Hylton,
First Pres senior pastor.


When I was in seminary, I excelled in all of my Greek language courses. I loved studying the Greek New Testament — learning how to conjugate verbs and experiencing the excitement of unearthing new insights (new to me, at least) from the New Testament.

Flush with confidence, I started my Hebrew language classes, expecting the same level of proficiency, success, and spiritual excitement that I had experienced learning Greek. 

One mistake I made was to do my Hebrew classes during the summer. I thought I would use the summer to get ahead in credits. Instead, I spent eight hours each day, five days a week, trying to cover a semester’s work in just two weeks — a big mistake. 

I failed the course.

My ready excuse was that I was working full time while doing this summer intensive. But I remember walking out of the seminary with a lump in my throat. I was so angry and disappointed with myself that I punched a nearby wall, bloodying some of my knuckles, stripping away the flesh.