I Failed To Do My Best So Now What?



By Phil Scovell







            The purpose of this testimony is to show how a memory event can have pain and discomfort that masks the true lie.


            I was 16 years old and it would be my last wrestling tournament.  It was an all city competition and hundreds of boys from 10 to 16 years of age were wrestling from all over Nebraska that day.  It was Saturday.  I was so used to going home every Friday for the weekend, and getting away from the school for the blind, I hated even staying over the weekend for a wrestling match.  Besides, I wasn't that good.  Oh, I won more than I lost, and I enjoyed the sport, but I new I wasn't that good, had never even gone to state, let alone winning enough matches to make it to a state tournament, and now, here I was, wrestling for a championship which I knew I wouldn't win.  Frankly, I didn't care if I did or not.


            After a half of a day passed, I found myself seated in the finals after beating 5 other guys and now I had one more to go for the first place championship.  I was even seated next to the sighted guy whom I was to wrestle.  He started up a conversation, as we waited out our turn to wrestle, and I discovered he was really a nice guy.  We were about five rows back so each time a row moved up, he showed me where to sit and we continued visiting like we were long time buddies.


            When our names were finally called, I had no feeling for how the match would conclude and as I said, I didn't really care.  Second place was always good enough for me, or so it seemed, and I didn't mind getting a C in a course, although I preferred a B, or even an A, which I occasionally obtained, but a B or a C was always fine with me because I hated school.  In fact, the best grades I ever achieved were in Bible College because I was finally studying things I liked and wanted to learn.  Anyhow, this young fellow and I walked out on the mat and when the whistle blew by the referee, the match began.  I lost by one point.  Nope!  I didn't even care.


            My mom had driven from Omaha over to Lincoln, about 65 miles, after she had gotten off work Saturday at noon, to not only watch me wrestle but to take me home for the rest of the weekend.


            When it came time to give out the trophies and my named was called, the young man who had beaten me by one point, ran over and led me to where the nice lady was giving out the awards for accomplishments as the announcer called out our names and school names.  I had never won a trophy before in my life so the hard solid metal little statue of a guy poised to wrestle, which is sitting on my book shelve behind me as I type, was placed in my hands.  The guy who had won first place and had led me to the awards table, said, "Phil, this is my mom handing out our trophies."  What an unusual day I had experienced.  I had wrestled 6 times, felt like I had been run over by a truck, and suffered muscle aches literally for a week from the strain I had exuded that day.


            "So, what is the problem here?"  I'm glad you asked because I'm not telling this story just because I can't find anything else to do at the moment.  This memory has always bothered me but I never knew why until recently.


            As this memory has come to mind hundreds of times over the years, I felt a tremendous amount of emotional discomfort.  In fact, I considered the true problem related to something I did that made me feel incredibly stupid that day.


            I had wrestled about three or four times before my mom arrived.  When she came, she sat next to me with the team up against a wall in a single row of chairs place just a few feet from the multiple wrestling mats being employed for the matches.  So far, so good.  I was so exhausted, I could hardly stay awake.  During long tournaments, I often was able to fall asleep just leaning back in a chair or even stretching out on cold hard steal bleachers.  After drinking a cup of pop, that's what we call soda back in the Midwest, I ended up laying my head down in my mother's lap and falling asleep.  That was the part of the memory which always first came to mind.  I felt stupid and very immature for what I had done in front of all my teammates.


            This time, when the memory appeared out of no where, I examined the memory in prayer.  "How did you feel?" I felt myself saying.  I knew the answer; I felt stupid.  Why?  In front of all my teammates, and hundreds upon hundreds of others in the auditorium, I laid my head in my mama's lap.  What a big tough wrestler I was.  So, obviously, I felt stupid and embarrassed because I shouldn't had done that and although all the other parts of the memory I describe likewise played out when this memory surfaced, my stupidity was all I could truly feel.  I hated the memory because of what I had done.


            As I prayed this time, however, more came to the surface.  I remembered what my coach, a great man and a great role model in my mind, said to my mom as I walked out on the mat for the first and second place winners positions.  "Well, it looks like Phil is going to be my only champ in this tournament."  As I turned the memory over and over, I realized something I had never noticed before and that was the feeling that I had let my coach down because I had not tried my best.  Maybe, just maybe, if I had tried a little harder, I could have won and been the first place winner.  I had won first place in tournaments before but no trophies had been awarded.  I knew my coach was still proud of me winning second place, but I personally felt I had not done my best, and had let him down.  Trying to find logic to my feelings within the memory, I reasoned, it wouldn't be the first time that I had done less than my best so what was the big deal?  Well, I've already stated it, "I didn't do my best," and I could have done better.


            Mom and I went back to Omaha, me with my little trophy, and I was going to get to spend the rest of the weekend at home.  Plus, I'd get to attend our church Sunday and that was, after all, way more important to me than winning first place at anything; wasn't it?


            As it turned out, the truth about the memory was not what I had done falling asleep with my head in my mom's lap as a 16 year old; it was the feeling I didn't do my best.  This was even worse to consider because how could Jesus fix something like that?  I mean, I could not ever go back and do it all over and try harder to win first place.  I was stuck, trapped, by my own failure and not trying my best.  I asked the Lord how He could repair the damage I felt I had done.


            Before I tell you what He said, understand that this memory is no big deal.  It had little, if any, influence upon my life, none of which I was aware, and there were many other times in life I did my best.  Regardless, this memory popped up so many times in my life, I finally realized something needed to be healed because Jesus wanted to fix something for me.  That Jesus!  He always wants to help us; praise God!


            So, when I felt this situation was hopeless, I told the Lord how I felt about not doing my best to win.  He said, "It doesn't matter because I'm your best."  I cannot describe the wonderful feeling that came over me when I realize that no matter if I failed because I didn't do my best or not, Jesus was my best.  He is my Lord and Savior and He is the best a person can do regardless of everything else.  I felt happy and free and I saw Jesus standing in the large building where we wrestled that day with all of those other people and saying, "Phil, I'm your best that you have ever done."


            How about you?  Have you ever experienced this type of emotional pain?  Maybe it's old and a long time ago.  Maybe what happened yesterday, due to what someone perhaps said, reminded you of something when you were little.  If you know Jesus as your Savior, He is the best you've ever done and it will never get any better than Jesus.  He is your past and your future and your eternal crown and trophy.





            Recently, while visiting the same memory, which is to say, automatically it just popped into my thinking without warning, I felt strongly a feeling, at the age of 16, that I had done something very stupid.  As I examined this memory, which had already been healed once before, I was somewhat surprised.   I had been to this memory previously and experienced healing from the emotional pain and woundedness it had been generating for literally decades.  I thought everything had been taken care of in the first experience of the renewing of the mind.  I've learned from personal experience, on the other hand, returning and finding more woundedness in the same memory, is not uncommon.  Why?  Because it simply means there is more Jesus wants to heal in that same memory.  He isn't obligated to heal everything the first time and we are on His healing plan; not our own.  We either follow that or become hopelessly confused, something the Enemy appreciates , because ignoring it, thinking all is well in that memory even though we still feel pain or discomfort within the framework of that memory event, gives him a perfect opportunity to plant additional corrupt seed.  He is always looking for another handhold whereby he can regain entrance into our relationship with the Lord.  He is jealous of that relationship because he is left out due to his evil character and nature that only is designed to kill, steal, and destroy.


            The second my mind entered this old memory of many decades ago, one previously healed, and one I thought to be completely cured of woundedness, I still felt a strong emotion which could only be identified as stupid from a teenager's point of view.  This feeling of stupidity appeared on the surface but embarrassment was causing the emotional woundedness.  I reason that I was just a young teenager so it was to be expected and I wasn't responsible.  I had to admit, that didn't feel right to me, so I continued examining the memory picture; asking the Lord, in my thoughts, where to look and He showed me.


            I felt I had let my team down, somehow, by my stupid actions.  This bothered me severely but I did not know how to resolve such a feeling now.  So, I did what I always do, I asked the Lord.  His answer was, once again, as always, incredibly simple.  He said, "No one saw you but me."  This building was filled with hundreds of kids and their parents watching their children compete.  Yet, when I posed this idea to the Lord, meaning, "Lord, how could I have gone unnoticed with all those people in that building?" He clarified it by making certain I understood, "No one saw you."  The words contained the impression that not only did the crowd not see me but my team mates definitely didn't see me because they, too, were blind.  I felt the shame floating away from the memory and now the whole memory picture felt normal.


            There is no doubt in my mind that someone reading this followup story has experienced parallel events to mine in their past.  I wanted to demonstrate how a memory can return with additional discomfort and with an emotional embarrassment aspect so that you too can be set free even from the shame of feeling you did something embarrassingly stupid.  These two testimonies just show how the Holy Spirit can take us back to reveal something to us which is new, or that was overlooked or missed the first time the memory was processed through prayer, and which needs to be healed so our minds can be renewed.  No, this is not something to which we should be alarmed.  It is the Lord's way of gently moving us into areas that need mind renewal at different times for different reasons but with the same results; the renewing of the mind.



Safe Place Fellowship International

Phil Scovell

Mountain Time Zone

Denver, Colorado USA