As the battle with Sløgthor and his demonic horde draws nigh, I shouldn’t have to remind you of the stakes. But I will anyway. If you’re like me, you probably can’t stop thinking about them. Humanity will perish if Sløgthor isn’t defeated. Not only that, but the souls of you and your loved ones will be tortured for all of eternity. We’re all under a lot of pressure. All things considered, we’re handling it rather well.

We have the best, most powerful weapons that could possibly be created for this circumstance. From that doo-hickey that looks like something from the Ghostbusters movie, to magical weapons straight out of Dungeons and Dragons. Never in my wildest dreams did I think a Sword of Eternal Truth exists. But there it was, at the bottom of Lake Erie, jammed into the engine block of a rusted out ’67 Ford Fairlane.

Let’s not forget about our leaders. They are, by far, the best who have ever lived. They know how to beat Sløgthor and you’ve all been briefed on the plan to do it. Our mission is righteous and our will is strong.

However, all of this is for naught if we don’t have our heads screwed on right when we start blasting demon hide. To that end, as we’ve prepared for this battle, I’ve heard a lot of you mumble the phrase “Failure is not an option.” I get the idea behind this mentality. I do. But I think we should pump the brakes a bit on it. I mean, we’re talking about a final battle between good and evil that’s torn from the pages of the scriptures. So, what I’m about to say may not be very popular, but I find it to be true: Failure is always an option.

Pretending failure isn’t an option, doesn’t guarantee it won’t happen. Besides, something about thinking that way feels dishonest. And those of you who know me, know I’m a straight-shooter.

To further illustrate my point, I had the fine folks at NASA run some statistical analysis. They took into consideration a variety of factors, like weather, terrain and spiritual ambience.

As it turns out, we have about a 90.3 percent chance of winning, which means there’s a 9.7 percent chance we will fail.

Some of you may have heard that failure number and thought it seemed rather high, which is normal. All of us have the tendency to hear the soft chorus of failure over the melody of success. So, I had the NASA people run a few other scenarios, to paint a broader context in terms of what’s possible.

There’s a 4.25 percent chance that Sløgthor will run onto the battlefield, trip over a corpse and impale himself on his own sword. Personally, if given the chance to name one thing that’s not possible, this would have been my choice. Lo and behold, look how wrong I would have been! And when you consider he can only be killed by his own sword, it’s kind of ironic.

There’s a 12 percent chance the heavens will open and an army of angels will swoop down to take care of this whole thing for us, without anyone having to slay a single demon. I wouldn’t rely on that, though. God helps those who help themselves, right? But, you know, keep that in the back of your mind while you’re out there, that it’s—at the very least—within the realm of possibility.

Finally, there’s a 45 percent chance of rain. Make sure to pack your rain gear.

I’m telling you all of this because I don’t want any of you to lie to yourselves about what’s going on. That’s what got us here in the first place. All those years of climate change denial opened a portal to Hell. And here we are. If we lie to ourselves about what’s going on now, it will only lead to a worse than desired outcome.

So, be positive but pragmatic. While failure is always an option in everything you do, it shouldn’t be a driving force behind the effort you put into even the smallest tasks. And it certainly shouldn’t keep you from trying your hardest to defeat Sløgthor and his demonic horde.

Now, get some rest. Tomorrow’s a big day.