Divine do-overs. Overs, as in more than one. We get 365 in a calendar year. That’s impressive. Reminds me of going to an arcade where the tokens never end. Game over isn’t really a thing that way. It’s game over then game on, again and again. I can be a sore loser or I can be brave retry-er.
I think it’s valuable to become acquainted with failure (in theory) but it’s about as difficult as it sounds. Maybe making a bed for it could cushion the fall. Honestly, there’s an eerie freedom that accompanies failed efforts though it gives us bloody knees. It’s painful and bittersweet, but a flavor we need to develop mature palettes; an element required for thicker, less reactive skin.
Stories of those who grapple with adversity and keep going are some of my favorites. Underdogs with odds stacked against them… I cheer inside. The unlikely ones who surprise us all — those are good stories. Real stories. Stories we pay money to see portrayed in theaters, and buy the books to devour, and that cause us to rally hope for ourselves. All of that, built on devastating failure, and then going for it anyway. It’s truly something, isn’t it?
I recall watching The Pursuit of Happyness years ago, and weeping in the dark room I sat in. The scene where he’s in the shelter and he’s able to get his one machine up and going as the light broke forth over sleeping strangers, all in the same hopeless way. And the notorious bathroom scene where he slept with his son because there was nothing else. Or the taxi fare he was footed with that he couldn’t cover. Didn’t your heart rise and fall right along with? Mine did. Didn’t you feel his desperation and triumph? What an incredible story. It wouldn’t have been much of a tale had he resigned after the last blow. It’s the getting back up that we crave and connect with; the notion that there is nothing that disqualifies us but for ourselves. Maybe life is a reel of simply getting over ourselves that we can get on with the show. And if that is the case, how maddening to think that we would call cut before the best part.
So much of this journey is getting over ourselves. For some it’s the vanity, but for me it’s the insanity. But it’s all vain, either way, before a God who declares it no match for His getting-on-with-it power.
Great things aren’t built on shifting sand, or with knock-off materials. They’re built on sure foundations, gutted out and plumbed properly, and with sure elements that are intended to stand the test of time. And time sure is a test. Great lives aren’t slapped together haphazardly — they are intentional and teachable. When it’s all coming down and you see your life’s work crumble, know that it’s a great undoing by the Great Undoer. He’s not afraid to take us back to the bones that He could reset and rebuild. At times it can seem as there is nothing salvageable left to work with, but not for a God who uses dirt and water as mediums. He makes something out of nothing.