Do you ever wish you could literally travel back and fix something?
This weekend one of my sons stepped on the dog, or at least he tried to. Yes, on purpose. I don’t exactly know why, but it was one of those stupid decision moments we all have sometimes. I immediately yelled across the room “What are you doing?” He looked at me briefly, sorrowfully, and then placed himself in a timeout in his room.
A few minutes later he came back teary-eyed and said “I didn’t mean to.” I reminded him that I saw him do it and it was clearly on purpose, but that he could still fix it. He looked up at me quizzically, “But mom, you said once that time travel wasn’t real?” (I did? Well, as far as I know we haven’t figured that one out yet…) I stood and looked at him for a minute confused as to where this conversation was going. “Why does that matter?” I asked. He replied, “How can I really fix it if I can’t go back in time and not do it?” The seriousness with which he asked the question struck me.
Honestly, wouldn’t that be nice? I mean I mess up all the time. I say or do stupid things that I wish I could go back and just not do! How much easier would that be than having to actually ask for forgiveness. In the article I shared yesterday from Becky Eldredge’s blog Into The Deep, I wrote the words “I get to try again even if I fail again.” True. I get to try again but I don’t get to go back and erase what I have done in the first place. If I’ve done something to hurt someone else, I get to try again by asking for forgiveness and looking forward to see how I can not repeat that action a second time. If I fail at a project or a dream, I get to look at and inspect that failure so I can learn from it.
Would that we could travel back and erase whatever we have done to hurt one another or ourselves. But we can’t. We can however apologize and try again to do better in the future.
After all, the fullness of a life includes all its ups and downs.
My prayer for all of us today is that we are given the grace to admit our mistakes, apologize and try again. May we also be easy on ourselves as well remembering the beauty that can come from our failures.
Our lives are meant to be all of it.