“Though he falls, he will not be overwhelmed, for the Lord is holding his hand” Psalm 37:24 BSB
“You have to make mistakes to find out who you aren’t. You take the action, and the insight follows: You don’t think your way into becoming yourself.” – Anne Lamott
On my birthday I received a gift that says, “Youth is a gift. Age is an art.” Boy! I took that to heart! So many of my youthful days were filled with optimism, fun, health and the perpetual myth that life should be and will be fair. I’ll meet “the one” and we will live with rainbows and unicorns. Somehow, grace covered all the youthful mistakes in my thinking and acting. True to life, they were the building blocks of my faith and successes.
Now, I’m much older with different losses, pain, learning experiences and disappointments galore. I wake up and my legs are bit stiff. I think going anywhere after 9:00 p.m. is a waste of time, especially if I have a good book or inspiring movie. I look at my granddaughters and see the very same ideas, hopes and optimism that I had in my youth. They’re making many of the same mistakes I made. They cry over the similar situations I had. And their optimism is sky high. High expectations of others and themselves is a crushing lesson but necessary. They’re sure they can change the world. Their energy is boundless. Their expectations high and disappointment reigns. Adulting is very hard work!
What to do?
Nothing. Just be there. Mistakes will be made but you’re not a mistake. They’re not a mistake.
This is what my grandmother did. She smiled when I would go off on an emotional tangent. She would set out cookies and coffee. She would embrace. She somehow knew it would be all right and such a comfort without any words or judgment. I would ask her what to do and she would tell a story from her past leaving me to take it in or not. It sure does now! By her personhood, she showed me grace and safety with assurance that all will work out. She knew the building blocks of success, compassion and character are mistakes—sometimes biggies! She was safe.
It’s Hands Off with Love. Detachment with love. Prayer is highly recommended.
It’s recognizing we’re all unique but susceptible to the same entanglements, mistakes and disappointments. And I may not learn from your mistakes. They may not learn from your mistakes. But they will keep trying if they have love. I think that’s true for most of us. I learn by MY mistakes. Hard knocks! It’s a gift that seems like punishment.
To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent
People and the affection of children
To earn the appreciation of honest
Critics and endure the betrayal of false
Friends; To appreciate beauty, to find
The best in others; To leave the world
A bit better, whether by a healthy child,
A garden patch or a redeemed social
Condition; To know even one life has
Breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded—Ralph Waldo Emerson
Mistakes will be made.
Thank you for grace along with the joys, disappointments and work that covers us when making mistakes–sins. It’s such an affirmation of your work in us. It’s grace that keeps us going. Progress.
We read in your Book about the many mistakes your people made. We’re making them too, thousands of years later, but your grace, love and pursuit keeps us faithful in hope, faithful in perseverance and faithful in love.
And thank you for the transformation that is taking place in us today.