The Bus Stop is a series of true stories about my life, people I've worked with and events I've experienced. Of course the names have been changed. I hope these stories will brighten your day with a few laughs as well as give you encouragement. Hopefully you can avoid making some of the mistakes I've made and if you have already made them, then you can identify with me.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Just Start Over

When I was little my sisters used to make a chocolate sugar candy or maybe it was some type of fudge. Whatever it was I liked it. A couple of weeks ago I made a chocolate cake with a homemade chocolate icing and I think it turned out ok. It didn’t stay around very long so it must have been good. I liked this particular icing because reminded me of the stuff my sisters used to make so I got this bright idea. Instead of putting it on a cake, why not just put it on a plate, wait until it hardens and eat it like candy.

Well, I thought I’d better make a double portion because a single portion may not last too long around here. After I took it off the stove and let it cool some I gave it a taste. It was a little bitter so I remembered salt sometimes takes the bitterness out of stuff so I gave it a try. It was taking too long to cool off so I put it in the fridge even though there really wasn’t room for it. It wasn’t leaning TOO much. Shortly after this Karen called and wanted to go to the movies. So I forgot about the project and I met her there.

Soon after we got home I thought I would check on the progress of the chocolate. It had progressed all right. It progressed all over many items in the fridge. Well, I spent the next 30 minutes cleaning that up and then left the chocolate on the counter to cure/dry or whatever it’s supposed to do.

The next morning I got up to check on the progress of the chocolate which has now become referred to as the challenge. To my disappointment it hadn’t crystallized or hardened, but was gooey. It was around this time when Karen said, “Why don’t you throw it away and start over. You’re just making a bigger mess.” In my determination I rejected her counsel and put the chocolate in the microwave and reheated it. Needless to say this challenge had got the best of me.

So why did I tell this stupid story. Over the years I have messed up so much in my life and done so much damage to myself. I spent many years attempting to correct, fix, change and maneuver myself into something better. There were too many knots in my rope and about the time I got one removed, two more would take its place. One day I realized there was too much damage to repair. I accepted I couldn’t change my past and undo the damage I had done. So I decided to throw all of that away and start over. Because of God’s grace He allows me to start over every day. As quoted in the movie “Anne of Green Gables” she said “tomorrow is a new day without any mistakes in it…yet.”

I actually learned this from a lady I met who had a horrible childhood. As I looked at her across the room at her, withdrawn and frightened, I wondered what horrors had she seen. I learned later that when she was about six or seven years old her dad prostituted her and her little sister to his friends. This was just one of the many tragedies she had experienced. She was the one who taught me this principle. I knew since there was no way she could ever deal with all of this damage in her life and her only hope was to Just Start Over.

I do not mean to over-simplify this. Starting over is not a matter of denying the past and moving on. Starting over means to deal with the past and start over every day for the rest of your life. The moment that we accept Jesus into our life we become new creatures. As said in 2 Corinthians 5:17, Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. Now our part is to start believing this truth. By the way, it may take awhile.

1 comment:

Karen said...

I needed to read this today. I've been feeling the weight of baggage, even recent baggage. I saw a movie the other day where one of the character's would stop when he walked into his front door every day, "brush off" everything that was not important. I thought that was a great idea. It allows us to mentally start over. With Jesus it's really possible!