All at once all the prison doors flew open and everyone's chains came loose. Acts 16:26b
I had the privilege to go to Legoland, CA this past weekend with five amazing kids who had made it to the North American Championships with their robot. Because they had poured hours and hours into their project, the robot had been scoring 630 points in practice. When they got to CA and used their one practice session allowed to them, the robot's color sensor wasn't happy with the stage lighting, and our robot became erratic. The kids went right into problem solving mode - Can we shield the sensors? Reprogram the robot? - and they worked hours on solutions. They came up with three plans, but were unable to test them until the competition. For each round (there were three), they used a different plan, and the robot responded in various ways, but their final score was only 435. The winning robot got 605.
What amazed me about these kids is they didn't give up and instead of looking at this is a failure, they turned it into a learning opportunity. While disappointed, they are already working on how they can improve their robot for next year.
Sometimes when failure strikes, it's hard for us to move forward and see the other paths. I think what these kids showed in their problem solving can be used in daily life situations. Don't quit, and just because one door closes, doesn't mean another hasn't opened. There are always other answers. Look around - not down.