I have been listening to Eugene Peterson's book "Eat This Book" and in this work he uses the term "failed contemplative" and I have to say that I really like the term. Being a contemplative, that is a person who lives in the ever present reality of God and seeks the kingdom which Jesus proclaimed is a beautiful word. When I think of the great contemplatives my name is not among them, yet I consider myself a contemplative albeit a "failed" one.
I really like the freedom this term gives me. It calls me to the path of continual surrender to Christ in the present moment, to a life of abandonment to Divine Providence. I feel the call to seek the kingdom and live into it's reality now. I also lose my patience, forget about God and seek other things before the kingdom. I fail daily. I also experience the kingdom daily. I live both the kingdom and failure, I am a failed contemplative.
I really like that failure doesn't mean that I am not a contemplative and my contemplation doesn't turn into self righteousness. This term has a wonderful earthiness to it. It is like Luther's saint and sinner. I just like failed contemplative a whole lot better.