Yesterday was Fall Kick-off for a lot of people: many churches and football embraced the beginning of a new season. Fall doesn’t officially begin for another week, but with schools around the world in session, it’s safe to say, bye-bye summer and hello fall!
My church celebrated Fall Kick-off yesterday. Weeks of planning and practice all came down to one day, specifically one 7 minute dance feature. We stressed and practically slept at church in preparation for this moment. And what happened? Technical difficulties made it impossible to start our dance when we were supposed to, forcing us to skip through the first half of the routine. A lot of people didn’t realise there was a problem, but we knew and it broke our hearts. I was angry (of course in hindsight, I could've handled it a little more gracefully instead of just storming off) . How could everything go perfectly in practice only to fail when it really counted? Was it sabotage? Divine intervention? My dance troupe and I wanted answers.
But the answers didn’t make us feel any better. When we learned what had went wrong, we learned there was a possibility that the problem could not be fixed, meaning there was a chance we wouldn’t even get to repeat the dance to do it properly. We deliberated on end about what to do if it were to get fixed. We eventually decided to try again if things worked out in our favour. We prayed for miracles and second chances. And then, during the teaching, I got my answer: WE WERE GETTING A DO-OVER!
Everyone was excited. We got dressed, went out and nailed it! No hitches, no hiccups. Just pure perfection as it were meant to be!
Wouldn’t it be great if life gave us do-overs? There are so many things I wish I had done better or worded differently, but the moment goes by and I have to live with the outcome. We can’t take the words back and we can’t separate the ingredients. For many of us, yesterday prevents us from living fully in today. We think guilt, regret and hindsight makes us so much wiser, yet we cannot forgive ourselves for not “knowing better” at the time. There may not be do-overs in life, but there are second chances! Here are a few ways to give yourself a second chance:
1. Turn unproductive regrets into productive regrets.
Regrets are important in our life to help us self-correct. The key is to recover from and build on the sharp sting of regrets to look for the lessons learned and take comfort in the fact that these lessons make us wiser. Basically, what can we learn from what went wrong so that it doesn’t happen again?
2. Ask yourself – Did I do the best I could at the time?
People generally try their best. Even when we don’t hit our mark, chances are, we gave it our best. This is a huge comfort to remember, because it’s so easy to blame ourselves when something goes wrong even when it wasn’t our fault and beyond our control.
3. If you cannot open a door, open a window.
There’s something amazing about the feeling of redemption. When you get to make right, what was wrong and prove to everyone what you’re made of. We called our second dance, our redemption. There was no erasing the original dance from people’s memories and phones, but we at least got leave them with a better impression of what we were trying to do. And that’s one of the great things about life. You may have botched the presentation, but that doesn’t mean you should give up. Like they say, where there’s a will, there’s a way. Maybe you can email the presentation if it didn't go well in person; and that second cake will turn out far better than the first!
It’s all about rolling with the punches, and unfortunately a lot of it requires you to make it up as you go. But the first step to success, is moving on from that regret and forgiving yourself and the situation.
Let this be your mantra for this week in the face of regret: 2 Timothy 4:7 “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. “
How do you plan to create your second chance? Share with us in the comment section below!