I have been on an interesting journey since Oct 2013. Somewhere around the middle of October, I stopped feeling sorry for myself about all the hard things I had been enduring. I realized that I was actually lucky and really needed to embrace all the wonderful things that I do have in my life.
It has become a goal of mine to experience, enjoy, and try to change only the things that I can impact and do my best to let go of the things that are beyond my control. One particular thing I realized is that every moment in our lives is exactly that – a moment. It flashes by! We are given each one as a gift, and it is in our hands what we do with it. Good or bad we can never relive it. Once it is gone…it will always be gone, just a memory.
During the summer months, it seem that people are more careless than normal. Maybe it is just that there is more activity than normal. Either way, we see an increase in safety mishaps and a corresponding rise in lost lives and shattered dreams. Typically between the holidays of Memorial Day and Labor Day, usually called the 101 days of summer, we start off with strong campaigns from the City, State, and Federal government and are usually very safe. Statistics show that after July 15 is when most of the fatalities occurred. 58% actually happen then.
People work hard to build and live their dream. When it is shattered by a useless death, we wonder how that one life could have been saved. The military has opened a new campaign entitled “Life Doesn’t Rewind.”
Wouldn’t it be nice sometimes if we had a rewind button? With all of the things we say, things we do, it would be nice to rewind the life tape as if we had never said what we said or did what we did. Or any time a bad decision is made, I could just delete it like I do on the computer. Stop the tape, rewind as if it never happened. Or would it?
If we did have this luxury of rewinding our life, what learning consequences would arise? Mary Whelchel of The Christian Working Woman, says You know, it’s very important that we all recognize our mistakes and learn from them. But when we live in regret, frequently wishing and dreaming of what might have been, we know we’re headed down the wrong road.
How many times have you asked God to forgive you for the same sin? He knows our frame and remembers that we are dust, and so He gives us many second chances. That, of course, does not mean we will not have to suffer the consequences of our sin. Sin always brings its aftermath and God doesn’t deliver us from that. But He can deliver us from guilt and He makes it possible for us to start over again with a clean slate.
She goes on to say, “Although life doesn’t have a rewind button, we have a God of second chances, and therefore, whatever regrets we may have, we can, because of God’s astonishing grace, live free from regret.”
I want to give you some practical suggestions on how you can recover from failure, even though you can’t backspace and strike over! Even though life has no rewind button!”
What seems to happen also is that we are looking backward at the mishap. The most important thing when you do that however, is to learn. You see, you get to fix that problem and move on, learning from that one mistake, providing it isn’t fatal, and never do that again. It is more a forward button. Not fast forward, just forward. Sometimes there are extenuating circumstances that cause a mishap. Most times it is rare that only one significant misstep or bad decision leads to a catastrophic ending. In most cases, multiple factors, whether it is environmental, human or mechanical, combine to put someone into a position where a mishap is bout to happen. Keeping people close to you that know who you are and how you act can sometimes simplify things when there are multiple factors leading up to a mistake. It may be possible that your close knit network is able to head you off at the pass.
Was the failure one that you could see coming, or did it take you by surprise? If it is one that you could have seen coming, you then need to analyze back to the first point that you can realize was the start of the failure. What caused you to fail and what were the steps that got you there. The most important thing is to learn. Failure is not something to be afraid of but to embrace as a learning tool.
Once you’ve faced the failure, confessed it as your own, and tried to analyze the steps which led to that failure, then the next step is to understand that Jesus has the power and the desire to redeem you from that failure and from living in regret. It might be good to memorize Philippians 3:13-14:
But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
While each of us works hard during this year and years to come, take the time to learn about your previous failures. Try to figure if it was something you could have prevented or was it something that caught you by surprise? Either way, if you are able to figure out what put you in that situation, you will know not to do that again. Also remember that Life does not have a rewind button to give us the opportunity to look back and make changes to the mistake made. We can only make changes to the future and not make that mistake again.