Bernard Loiseau, one of the world's most successful, widely esteemed chefs, worked tirelessly from the ground up to build what became a multimillion-dollar cooking empire.

Bernard Loiseau, one of the world's most successful, widely esteemed chefs, worked tirelessly from the ground up to build what became a multimillion-dollar cooking empire.
His French restaurant received top honors for serving exquisite meals.  His fame and reputation spread quickly throughout France, till one day he received Europe's highest culinary award.  He also published eight cookbooks and designed menus for major gatherings.
Loiseau dedicated his whole adult life to being the best at cooking.  His foremost goal was to maintain his restaurant's highly-coveted, three-star rating.  For him, anything less would amount to failure.
One day, at 52, he caught wind of a rumor that his restaurant was about to be downgraded to two stars.  The mere thought of it made him suicidal.  Sadly, he shot himself to death before learning the rumor was false.
The famous chef had set his personal success bar exceptionally high.  When it looked as though he couldn't match his own expectations, he considered himself to be a dismal failure.
We all feel like that at times.  Likely we do without knowing all of the facts.
My niece's daughter wrote on her Facebook page recently, "I just want to fall off the face of the earth."
She's experiencing the heartbreak and letdown common to all teens who think they should be perpetually happy and free of trouble.
Understandably, she hasn't lived long enough to know that she isn't alone in her feelings, and that what seems devastating at the moment will one day pass from memory as she moves on to newer and better things.
To believe or imagine the worst is ingrained in the human psyche.  Combine that with impatience, and the truth often is buried under an avalanche of irrational thinking or behavior.
Today we are bombarded by the sounds and images of a world that doesn't have our best interests at heart; forces that can easily deceive us into believing a lie.
That is what happened in Eden when the devil tempted Eve into disobeying God with regard to eating fruit from the forbidden tree.  That is essentially what occurred when Bernard Loiseau killed himself.
Whenever we mess up, or think we have failed, the world says, "You're finished!"  But Jesus said, "Be of good cheer; I have overcome the world" (John 16:33).
Indeed, no one is a failure whose reputation or foremost desire is that of placing complete trust in God.

Mark Edmondson writes a column for the Neosho Daily News.