We all know it, though most of us would rather not admit it. We know that living life brings about a litany of mistakes. These mistakes precede many of life’s most important lessons. Lessons like, the thermometer with the black electrical tape attached, is to be used only on your baby sister and does not belong in your mouth.
It seems to me that Hand Foot and Mouth is not an appropriate name for its assigned illness.
Mistakes can teach us what NOT to say…next time. “Grandpa…I think you are like God!”
“Why…what a nice thing to say!...what makes you say that…my now favorite grandson?”
“You are both REALLY OLD!!!”
“I might re-think that "favorite" comment I spoke just a moment ago.”
I stood on the bumper of my dad’s 1978 Chevy pickup truck. The hood was up and the two cell caps were off of the battery. He held a gallon of distilled water in one hand and a small yellow funnel in the other. I was peering down into the six holes that were exposed on top of the battery. I was curious about what he was doing. But rather than asking, I dipped my six year old finger into one of the exposed battery cells, while my dad’s back was turned…drew out my wet finger and sucked on it.
My dad turned back to the job at hand and said, “Don’t drink that.”
“It’s battery acid, it will destroy your clothes and eat your face off.”
“Oh…I’ll be right back…”
I ran into the house and rinsed my mouth out for a full 15 minutes…until the burning stopped.
I don’t think I will do that again…food hasn't tasted the same since.
In college I went on a double date with a friend of mine. I brought one of my buddies and she brought her friend who was visiting from Oklahoma. She and her family were staying at a local campground…Sunny Brook Park. As we pulled in to drop her friend off after the date, the words just came out…“Sunny Brook Park…it sounds like a mental institution!”
“Ha, Ha, Ha.” My buddy laughed
“What are you crazy?”
“Ha, Ha, Ha.” My buddy laughed.
As we dropped this kind girl off, my friend who had brought her, punched me on the shoulder…”What is wrong with you!!!”
“What!?...What did I say?” I asked.
“She was just discharged from a mental health treatment facility!!”
If there was ever a time when I wanted to take back my words…this was one of them. Truthfully…I have more moments in my life, where I would like to take back my words, my actions, or my mistakes, than I could ever count. I am a walking tragedy of errors. I have a perpetual need for a “redo.”
I love the reset button and use it often. I reset our home router, my computer, my “not so” smart phone, the breaker on my table saw and more.
We all need a reset…every one of us. We need it. The mistakes we have made cannot be taken back. The words we have said are out there…like a bullet that cannot be recalled...they have gone out and done irreparable damage. I need a fresh start. I need a restart.
Perhaps the biggest mistake that we can make in life…is to believe that we do not need a restart. God is clear throughout the scriptures…that he has offered us an opportunity…to start again…to begin again…to be born again. Our past lives don’t disappear…rather…the future is changed and we are born into a new life with him. We are born into a future with him. In John chapter 3 we find a religious leader who learns this very lesson, when he talks directly to Jesus and Jesus tell him…”You must be born again.”
Jesus tells this religious leader…that he needs a fresh start.
Perhaps it’s time for us to realize that we need a fresh start. We need to be born again. If we have…then rejoice with the freshness of that new life!