BY PAUL ROCK, STAFF WRITER FOR JAYE. FOLLOW HIM ON TWITTER: @Saul2PaulRock
A new beginning. To start again. To move forward. As kids, we called it a do-over. Golfers call it a mulligan. There are moments and times in our lives when a do-over would be a wondrous miracle. A chance to do or say something that needed to be said or done. A chance to undo something we wish had never happened.
Of course in real life there are no mulligans. We do, however, get second chances and opportunities to create new beginnings; but there is sort of a price to pay. A new beginning requires accountability to the past. An accountability to all our past successes and failures. And maybe especially our failures. We’ve all made mistakes. I’ve made some whopper, king-sized, gargantuan, “my life is over” mistakes. And the only way I could start over, create my new beginning, was to take responsibility for those mistakes. To understand my thinking and lapse in judgment when I made those mistakes. To understand why I made the choices I made. Otherwise, I would only repeat them at a different time, in a different place, with different people.
I think we sometimes view the idea of a do-over as a way of erasing the past. Erasing embarrassment and shame, guilt and pain. A way of forgetting. We hear it all the time, “forget the past” or “the past is in the past” or “put the past behind you.” However, I think we do a disservice to ourselves when we try to totally obliterate the past in our minds. It occurs to me that in order for a do-over to truly be that, we must recognize the mistakes me made the first time around. If we can’t recall and acknowledge our first missteps in judgment, we are more than likely to repeat them. And now we need a DO-DO over; and that sounds not at all pleasant.
So how do we do that? A builder would say always build on solid ground. For success, in life, love or in business we need a solid foundation— a solid ground to build on. Our mistakes and poor judgment chip away at that foundation. But the new beginning not only allows us to recognize and repair the cracks, it gives us insight into where a crack may form. It allows us to strengthen where there is weakness. Because what we build in our home life, in our professional life and in our spiritual life requires a rock-solid foundation.
Jesus Christ called St. Peter “the Rock on which I will build My Church.” And, boy, did Peter create for himself several opportunities for do-overs. He got the do-over of a lifetime on the shore of the Sea of Galilee when after denying Christ (after he said he would NEVER deny Him), the Resurrected Christ restored Peter to his status of solid rock. He did this by asking Peter three times, “Do you love me?” It was in direct correlation to the number of times Peter did not claim Christ when questioned by the hostile crowds after Jesus’ arrest. Jesus knew and told Peter he would deny Him and He also knew Peter loved Him but in His Mercy, He gave Peter exactly three more chances to “undeny” Him, so to say.
Like Peter, we can move forward, turn our lives around all without totally turning our backs on the past or the Savior. Jesus didn’t say to Peter, “Ah, fughetta ‘bout it. Ya know I forgive you.” Instead, He gave him another chance and another and another. This not only spoke to the Man who came to forgive the sins of the world but this reinforced who Jesus said Peter was— the Rock, upon whom the gates of hell cannot prevail.
So at the first chance you get, take your mulligan shot because you don’t want a do-over to become a do-do over.
Remember to Journey Above Your Expectations