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Saturday, July 3, 2010

If I Could Only Go Back and Get a Second Chance

In the corner of my office the wooden floor shows where termites have eaten.  Every time I notice this corner I am convicted of not being assiduous enough to eradicate termites when I plainly saw evidence of them—when termite wings lay on table tops and window sills.  Now I have an open wound that I must live with as testimony to my neglect, my bad decision to do nothing.  Now I keep my home under a termite protection guarantee.  But the damage has been done.  Nothing except replacing the floor could hide that.  And hiding it seems important because I am ashamed of what I did, or didn’t do.  I don’t want to be reminded of my failure, my neglect.  I don’t want to remember I played the fool, and was arrogant, assuming the rules of life simply did not apply in my case--I was exempt from bad outcomes despite bad decisions.  Somehow I would prove to be the exception, the wonder kid who would prevail based on my specialness and willpower.  The realities of life have a way of cutting our towering illusions off at the knees.  Sometimes the most we can do is face and admit our failures, and pledge, with the grace of God, to do better in the future.  The first challenge that we flubbed will never come again, but we can pray for additional meaningful challenges to prove our better nature.

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