I watch my favorite college football team most Saturdays. I admit that I sometimes fall asleep during the games. (I know, I know...that's close to sinning in the south.) But this past Saturday I managed to stay awake for most of the game. And I saw my team make an error that could've and should've been easily avoided.
Clemson punted the ball to Auburn, and sent the ball sailing down to the end zone. Even I know that a player shouldn't catch the ball in the end zone because if the ball hits the ground, the team will automatically advance to the 20-yard line. But as my husband was yelling, Let it go! Let it go!, I watched a player catch the ball and try to run. Much to our chagrin, he didn't make it very far before the Clemson players had him on the ground. My husband was muttering something about a mental error costing Auburn. It took several plays before Auburn made it to the 20-yard line, where they should've been in the first place.
Sometimes we make errors, and we have to work hard to recover and get to where we should've easily been in the first place. But instead of beating ourselves up over our mistakes, it is important to start recovery...to get to the place where we should've been so we can move forward from there.
Yes, recovery is a hard road. It's a road that's only taken because of mistakes. It's the brave who decide to journey down that humbling road. It requires forgiving ourselves, and sometimes forgiving others, neither of which is easy to do.
And as for those who would come along and knock you down, trying to stall your recovery by making condescending comments or by not believing in you: move right on past them. Keep doing what it takes to make progress.
Mistakes and errors are often costly, and might mean the game is more challenging, but they don't have to mean that the game is over. It's your choice: call it quits, or start recovering with humility what you've lost. Restoration awaits you.
Loosely based on Luke 15:11-32