“Everybody makes mistakes. That’s why they put erasers on pencils.”
– Lenny, from The Simpsons
Occasionally, I have a tendency to get a little disheartened when I think about all the mistakes I’ve made in my life. In some cases, I find myself so deeply immersed in those mistakes, I often feel that there’s no turning back. What’s worse is that frankly, I’m not always sure whether many people I know (with the obvious exceptions of my family and a handful of my closest friends) have the kind of love and support for me that will allow them to accept me in the face of the mistakes I’ve made. But I can at least rest on the belief that God is still standing beside me; even when I screw up, be it inadvertently or on purpose.
To date, I haven’t come across anyone who hasn’t messed up before. It stands to reason they will mess up again. We all will. It’s a part of what makes us human. But our humanity doesn’t mean we necessarily have to succumb to our shortcomings. Instead, I think we can become victors of those mishaps. As a starting off point, I think it’s important to embrace our humanity and face our shortcomings head on. It’s when we don’t confront those issues, admit them to ourselves, turn away from them, and learn from them, that we are led down a road of disappointment and indeed down the same path of destruction we so assiduously tried to avoid in the first place. As we watch our once close relationships with our friends and family, our lives, and any bit of humanity disintegrate into nothing, we find ourselves empty, lonely, and devoid of purpose. That can be a fate worst than death.
While I believe it’s easy to point the finger at others when they have done us wrong, I believe it’s much harder to point the finger at ourselves when it comes to identifying our own shortcomings. Hoping to be a better person in that respect, I’m striving to get to the point where I stop hiding behind my failures and my faults and come to grips with how messy I can be at times. I’ve fallen short more than I can count; I’ve missed the mark time in and time out. I’ve hurt people. I’ve lied to people. I’ve betrayed people. I’ve done a poor job of uplifting people. I’ve failed people. In that respect, I hide nothing.
All of that notwithstanding, I don’t want to spend all my days shamelessly holding my head down at the thought of being a bad Christian. Rather, I hold my head up knowing that even when I miss on all cylinders, God has my back. Even when the rest of world is ready to abandon me, thrust their fingers into my chest, or have my head on a platter, He’s standing with me giving me strength and boldness of faith to endure it.
Even when I can’t always see or feel it, I’m never alone.