It occurred to me recently how there’s value in our mess-ups: they’ll often sear memory, and in the best of times they can point us to something magnificent.
Mess-ups…mistakes are hard to forget. The more public, the more memorable.
On a spiritual level, mistakes and failed effort point me back to my need for Christ. It’s really that simple. He already is what I will never be – perfect; and He has already accomplished what is impossible for me despite my best effort (all of us) – reconciled me to God.
My mess-ups (my sin) reveal my inadequacies in every area of my life, and because God has set eternity in the heart of man (Ecclesiastes 3:11a) – because He has set eternity in my heart, I want to be right with Him. If I were already perfect, why would I need the atoning, redeeming, complete work of Christ on the cross and beyond?
I have zero aspirations for perfection, but increasingly, I’m drawn to the perfection of Jesus. His ways were not ordinary and His model of perfection wasn’t tidy; he certainly didn’t behave the way a King would be expected. But He never wavered in His purpose while on earth, to serve and love and lead us in the way to light and life.
Beyond a spiritual, deeper consideration of mess-ups, can we agree that on a superficial level oopsies are awesome?
Isn’t this why we love America’s Funniest Home Videos, why we can’t get enough of our favorite TV show’s outtakes and blooper reels, why videos go viral?
When we blow it, we make fantastic memories.
Because I love to cook and bake, some of my more memorable mess-ups occurred in the kitchen:
Like the time I made a peach pie for a friend going through chemo and I added salt to the pie dough. My flour was stored in a canister on the counter (not in a bag) and I didn’t realize it was self rising and already had salt. I had made two pies – one for my friend and one for us – so I realized the mistake with the first bite. I still remember Dan’s congenial thank you note: “…and thank you for the slightly saline peach pie….” Trust me, there was nothing “slightly saline” about it. No doubt he appreciated the effort, and my “oops” made it all the more memorable.
And the time at Thanksgiving when most all my husband’s side of the family traveled hours to our home. To keep things simple, and because there were lots of cooks in our kitchen that day, I planned on using the glaze packet that came with our store-bought spiral ham (typically, I made my own glaze). However, apparently I couldn’t read that day, and I set our microwave for minutes instead of the seconds it recommended. We heard a small explosion coming from our laundry room (where the microwave lived), and the glaze had exploded inside, “baking” onto the oven’s interior. There was no cleaning or wiping or scraping off the sweet resin. We had to buy a new microwave.
But my worst “culinary catastrophe” happened years ago at a supper club with friends. I hope you’ll read The Dessert Disaster, a story I shared at Grace Table.
I doubly hope you’ll tell me about your own kitchen disaster.
Or, if you’re willing to share, I’d love to hear your stories
of how a personal mistake or mess-up pointed you to God.
DO comment here or there!!
Like you I love cooking. It has taken years for me to learn that I need lots of “grease” in my pans when making bread. Finally bread comes out perfect.
Mistakes by themselves are good. They teach us right from wrong. Big mistakes can point us back to God. If I have a bad day & “lose it” a lot-then I pray extra hard that night asking for forgiveness.
Praise God for second & third chances. We are blessed to have such a loving God!
Mercy….God is the epitome of “long-suffering” the way he puts up with us humans :/. I’m ever-thankful for those second…third…and infinite chances :/.
I’m off bread right now, so just the mention of it made me salivate. Mmmmm!