Do I Ever Cherish Do-Overs!

coffee43.jpgJust a couple of weeks ago, on July 20, I heard a piece on the radio from NPR’s "This I Believe."  The segment I heard featured a man by the name of Dan Flanagan from Michigan.  The portion of the interview that stood out was the following:


I don’t know why I came to the decision to become a loser, but I know I made the choice at a young age. Sometime in the middle of fourth grade, I stopped trying. By the time I was in seventh grade, I was your typical degenerate: lazy, rebellious, disrespectful. I had lost all social graces. I was terminally hip and fatally cool.

It wasn’t long after that I dropped out of school and continued my downward spiral. Hard physical labor was the consequence for the choices I made as an adolescent. At the age of 21, I was hopelessly lost, and using drugs as a way to deal with the fact that I was illiterate and stuck in a dead-end job carrying roof shingles up a ladder all day.

But now I believe in do-overs, in the chance to do it all again
. And I believe that do-overs can be made at any point in your life, if you have the right motivation…

I was particularly gripped by the line that I highlighted above: "But now I believe in do-overs, in the chance to do it all again."  Does that line ever resonate with me!  When I reflect upon God’s redemptive work through Jesus on the cross, I always come away with such an appreciation in the opportunity for a "do-over."  Forgiven.  Cleansed.  Washed.  A chance to come at life again.

Far too many of us live with a sort of resignation toward life.  "Oh well."  Yes, I realize that there are consequences for poor choices and bad behavior.  Our blunders, failures, and mistakes can and do impact other people.

Yet, in Christ, there really is the opportunity to begin a new day.  I can wake up in the morning, take a deep breath, and step out into the world with the assurance that I am loved by the God of the "do-over."

This means a great deal to me.  I have found it far too easy to get bogged down in my own failures.  You can make your own list.  My list would have to include:

  • What I wish I had done differently when my children were still living at home.
  • The immaturity and insensitivity I often displayed in our marriage, those early years in particular.
  • Blunders I made in my ministry with various churches.
  • Ways I wish I had handled various situations with people differently.
  • Regrets I have over the way I have used my time in the past.
  • Opportunities that I failed to see or grasp.

How easy it would be to get bogged down in these kinds of things!  How easy it would be to rehearse these failures again and again!  Far better for me to focus on the God who continues to work through me, regardless.

I love the line uttered by Joseph to his brothers in the very last chapter of Genesis.  After being sold into slavery by them, after serving time in prison, and after being separated from his family for so long, Joseph says:

Don’t be afraid.  Am I in the place of God?  You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.  So don’t be afraid.  I will provide for you and your children.  (Genesis 50:19-21)

In spite of it all, God had worked through him and would continue to work. 

As you begin a new week or new day, what is most encouraging to you as you think about the God of the "do-over"?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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6 thoughts on “Do I Ever Cherish Do-Overs!

  1. As christians we are truly blessed by the Lord to learn from our many mistakes. More importantly, through Christ we are forgiven for those mistakes. Some of my do-over’s I don’t want to do again.
    I am sincerely glad your back. Thanks for the post.

  2. I feel ya man! I spent the last 5 years working on fixing a lot of mistakes I made with my kids — particulaly the two younger ones. i am grateful to God for a chance at a "do-over" and I am glad to say that it seems to have been fruitful.   Thank you God !! j

  3. C.S. Lewis writes of this….I find of great interest….p.93 "Made for Heaven".."All day long we are in some degree, HELPING EACH OTHER  to one or other of these destinations…It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings w/ one another, all friendships, all loves, and plays, and "all politics".  There are NO  ORDINARY people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations–these are mortal, and their life to ours …as the life of a gnat..  BUT, it is immortals whom we joke with, work with , marry , snub, exploit –Question: immortal horrors or everlasting splendors??  This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn…WE MUST PLAY!!!!….But, our merriment must be of that kind which exists between people who have, from the onset, "TAKEN EACHOTHER SERIOUSLY"—no flippancy, NO Superiority, no presumption.  And, our charity must be a "REAL and COSTLY LOVE", "with deep feeling for the Sins in spite of which we love the sinner"…no mere tolernace, or indulgence which parodies love as fliipance parodies merriment… to the Blessed Sacrament itself,  is your neighbor…… he / she is the  holiest object presented to your senses…and so on…therefore…we take on the clallenge too  not follow suit as the rest of the cattle… but rather… … take a stance for opposition that God would consider of "Great Matter" anyways…and we can only guess what that would consist of … by sincere and profound direction through the Holy Scriptures…it’s a no-brainer… as the "Apostle Paul" himself would allude too…take the challenge on—it’s well worth every penny in God’s Eyes–if it is at all for God!!!!!!!!! 🙂    Yipes!!!  And , we can only beleive that it is……"R"

  4. This is an excellent post:  Here is one more thought to share…The Church is a ministry; a Jesus life, a love for others…hummm…THAN in error; we make mention of how they "branched off" New sister daughter churches from the mother Church; only with a realization that the fact that really accures (mostly) is that of internal wars within; a non-desiring too see things through Jesus Eyes – – it’s all about "Who’s Right!!" Let’s open up a new church–we’ll do it better, rather than dealing a Jesus Creed kind of life or Ministry….leaves you pondering to say the least…..  just open up a "new  church"….and barrie….   the Sin.  Failed minsitries  – – fail themselves….Not by God’s desire or God’s Will….interesting…. 

  5. Josenmiami–Thanks for your comment.  I respect you for what you are trying to do with your children.I visited your blog.  I love the music! 

  6. Kasey "Rahab"—Thanks for your two comments.  I appreciate the time you took to express what is very important to you.  Thanks so much.