Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Sometimes things just don't turn out the way you plan. In fact, most of the time our lives seem to take a detour from the road we thought we were traveling on. Thankfully the majority of the detours are not big ones, just small enough to be annoying and consistent enough to remind us that we are not in control of our circumstances just in control of our responses to our circumstances.
This is one of those small detours:

We were set to head home from our wonderful vacation at beautiful Lake Chelan, Washington. We had just finished our good-byes to our guests, piled into our car, and I began backing up.

The worst part about mistakes is looking back over them after an "event" has occurred and recognizing the turning point which, if done differently, would have resulted in an "uneventful" occurrence, and when one is referring to a car trip uneventful is generally preferable to an eventful one.

My turning point was when I actually said to my kids, "there is so much stuff in this car I can't even see out the back window." Actually, I suppose the turning point was when I didn't stop and immediately rearrange the junk in the car, but continued to back up.

Now, my car has a fool-proof (not quite, as we shall see) system for backing up. It beeps at the people in the car to alert everyone that the car is positioned precariously close to disaster. As the car moves closer to the object, the car "beeper" grows louder and the beeps closer together. Apparently, it also provides the driver (that would be me) with a false sense of security. I realize that I have been trusting in my fail safe beeper to keep me out of trouble. The problem with my built in signal is that if an object is, say attached and extending from a car, like a bike rack, for instance (hypothetically speaking, of course) and if it is located high enough on the vehicle it simply won't register.

What a great reminder that accidents do happen. We can choose to get all bent out of shape and be upset about it or we can just accept what happened, learn from our mistakes, and move on.

I had my kids with me in the car when we all heard the splintering glass. Jim was nearby in his truck. We both got out of our vehicles, looked things over, repacked my over packed backseat, said how thankful we were that we didn't do any damage to the other vehicle (not even a little scratch or anything) and went out to pizza with our kids.

Later that evening I had some time to reflect on the events of that day. I hope my kids learned that everyone makes mistakes. Thankfully this was a relatively small, albeit inconvenient lapse in judgment. I hope my children realized that we may not get to choose our detours, but we certainly can choose how we react to them. Beating ourselves up, or having a sullen attitude is unprofitable at best and at worst teaches everyone around us that at our core we don't believe God's plan in everything that occurs is truly the best.

I hope that when the bigger mistakes come, as they no doubt will, that my children will be quick to remember that this too is God's best for them. Learn from it, move on, but most of all accept it from the hand of a wise and loving Father who knows exactly what we need, and loves us enough to give us what we need, not what we want.

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