I’ve made some pretty big mistakes in my life. Usually they have ended up costing me time, but sometimes my errors have cost money, too. Almost always, they have resulted in wasted effort.
Frequently, error arises from the unknown. If I don’t check the weather forecast, I won’t know there is frost on the way before morning, and I will, therefore, go to bed without covering my fragile tomato plants.
Of course, if the weather man is wrong or I just get lazy, that’s another story, and there are ten thousand opportunities every day for me to end up getting it wrong, which gives me all sorts of compassion for Christopher Columbus, who failed to factor in the presence of North America in his quest to travel west and reach the East. Whether we give him credit or blame, whether we call October 11, 2021 his birthday or Indigenous Peoples’ Day, I know that I could easily have made the same egregious navigational error he did… or worse!
Have you ever been convinced that you were right, when, in reality, there was a continent-sized piece of information you hadn’t considered? Vast tracts of undiscovered territory, if I had only explored them, might have changed the outcome on some of my more spectacular blunders, so I tend to do my research these days. I want to consult all the experts, follow all the advice (even the stuff that contradicts itself). Sooner or later (hopefully sooner), I ask God for guidance.
When You Get It All Wrong
The Preacher who wrote Ecclesiastes slid into a fair amount of hand-wringing over his own judgment fails, and he sums it up this way:
Whoever watches the wind will not plant;Ecclesiastes 11:4-6
whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.
As you do not know the path of the wind…
so you cannot understand the work of God,
the Maker of all things.
Sow your seed in the morning,
and at evening let your hands not be idle,
for you do not know which will succeed,
whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well.”
Sadly, he’s right. In gardening, in parenting, in business, in ministry, and in just about every possible realm of my life, there are continents of unknowing the size of North America just waiting to topple my sense of security or mastery.
My most recent blunder resulted in an unfortunate delay and about two hours’ worth of angst. I think I’m getting better at letting go of the self-bludgeoning behaviors and just moving forward into the next thing, and I can trace any miniscule progress directly back to a tighter embrace of God’s sovereignty. So, what’s a person who trusts in an all-knowing God to do when she bumps hard into the results of her own non-omniscience and the unpredictability of life?
Likely the same author, but in a different book and a different frame of mind, sends me in a solid direction:
Trust in the Lord with all your heartProverbs 3:5-6
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.”
Are you sitting in the midst of a self-made mess today? Rather than berating yourself for what you’ve done, start fresh by accepting God’s grace for the loss. “Acknowledge him,” acknowledge the unexpected land mass where you’ve run aground, and start waiting for the Spirit Wind to redirect your path.
Most of all know that you cannot sin yourself outside of God’s love. There is grace, even for this.
Holding you in the light,
Columbus Day is a good time to ponder the reality of error. In just about every realm of my life, there are continents of unknowing the size of North America just waiting to topple my sense of security or mastery. What do you do when you thought you were right, but discover you were wrong?Tweet
My Gift to You!
I am committed to the truth that women can become confident Christ-followers and students of God’s Word. If that’s your goal, I’m offering resources to help you along the way, like the Guided Meditation I’m offering free to subscribers. Simply enter your email below for regular encouragement in your understanding and enjoyment of scripture:
What I’m Reading Now
I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and an affiliate of The Joyful Life Magazine, two advertising programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees. If you should decide to purchase any of the books or products I’ve shared, simply click on the image, and you’ll be taken directly to the seller. If you decide to buy, I’ll make a small commission at no extra cost to you.