Amazing Grace

"You take things too much to heart, Anne. We all make mistakes. . .but people forget them. And Jonah days come to everybody."
- Marilla in Anne of Avonlea

I was originally intending to title this post, "Jonah Day" or "Jonah Week" - but then I got a little bit of perspective when I read about the devastation in Japan. Things could be worse. You might have guessed by now that I write and schedule these things prior to the day they post. For example, I'm writing this on Friday morning, but it's not scheduled to go up until Monday (sorry if that blows your little image of me getting up at 4 AM to write something worth reading - there's not enough coffee in the world).

"Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And if worry can’t accomplish a little thing like that, what’s the use of worrying over bigger things?" (Luke 12:25,26 - NLT)

On Thursday night I couldn't go to sleep because I  kept replaying a huge mistake I made at work on Tuesday (without going into detail, let's just say I thought it might be grounds for immediate termination - yep, it was a BIG mistake). I thought about what happened, what I did, what could have happened, what was said, and how I can keep from doing it again. I stressed myself to the point of sleeplessness over something that happened two days earlier - and that had already been discussed with my superiors. I don't like disappointing people and I hate losing trust - both of which I did as a result of my lack of attention.

Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up. (Proverbs 12:25 - NLT)

Peter kept telling me it was a mistake - mistakes happen to everyone - and I just need to learn from it, forgive myself and move on. I knew he was right, but I have a hard time not beating myself up for it - repeatedly. As I was praying about it Thursday night, I asked God to forgive me - not for making a mistake - but for worrying and fretting about something I couldn't change. I needed to stop worrying about what could have happened and start working on how not to let it happen again. I can't change what happened earlier, but I can work on doing a better, more conscientious job in the future.

“So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today." (Matthew 6:34 - NLT)

Did I make a mistake that could have had very bad consequences? Yes. Has my confidence been shaken to the core? Oh yeah. But I am aware that the mistake I made was something I actually had control over. I know that in the future I need to pay closer attention to detail and that this is something that I can work on so it doesn't happen again. I also know that I'm not the first person to make this mistake and I won't be the last. And once again I was reminded of how much I need the Lord's grace, forgiveness, and wisdom. Like King Solomon, I am asking the Lord for wisdom and knowledge to do my job well - to use the brain that He has given me and to honor Him in my work.

Now, here's the coolest part of the whole story which happened after I had written all of the above: I hadn't been at work more than five minutes on Friday when the person who was on the receiving end of my mistake came back to where I work. This kind and lovely person took one look at me and said, "Everyone makes mistakes. I just wanted to tell you that it's okay and I know it was a mistake and I'm fine! I looked for you the day it happened, but I didn't see you and I was afraid you had quit - it wasn't worth that. It was just a mistake and there's no harm done." Now, they had no idea that I had been beating myself up since it happened or that I was still thinking about it, but they wanted to assure me that I didn't need to waste any more time worrying about it. Isn't God amazing?! I've been a Christian for twenty-six years and I never cease to be amazed at the undeserved grace and love that He shows his children. 

In the words of Lucy Maud Montgomery's Anne Shirley...

"Marilla, isn't it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?"

And the growth continues...

1 comment:

  1. Tomorrow is a new day indeed and it's chock full of grace!

    Hope this week is going swimmingly.

    Happy (almost) Wednesday...


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