Leadership Ideas, Information and News

Friday, February 01, 2013

Consider the eraser

Commentary by Chaplain (Capt.) David Dziolek
379th Air Expeditionary Wing Chapel

2/1/2013 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFNS) -- Have you ever thought about the purpose of an eraser? I can hear you say, "Wow! Deep, spiritual reflection today, eh Chap?"

Seriously, why was the eraser invented? The obvious answer is to correct a mistake we have made while writing on paper. The eraser allows us to wipe away our mistake and start over. The same could be said of white-out or the backspace button on the computer. They function as a way to fix errors so we can go back to the beginning and start over, correcting where we went wrong.

I find it interesting how we so easily allow ourselves to make corrections when errors occur on paper. However, when we make a mistake in life we often are not able to move past it. We struggle with guilt and shame and we beat ourselves up. We demand so much of ourselves and when we fail or when we fall we become our own judge, jury and executioner. It almost seems like errors are expected on paper, but not in life. We make room for mistakes in writing and are able to erase and correct the error without much thought, but we do not offer that same grace to mistakes we make in living.

One of my favorite Proverbs says, "For the righteous falls seven times and rises up again," (Proverbs 24:16). I love this because it means everyone, even those we would consider "righteous," still falls. They still make mistakes. And they still need a way to go back to the beginning and start over, correcting where they went wrong. This gives me great encouragement to know when I make mistakes and fall, and I will, I can also go to God and ask Him to forgive me and to help me start over.

While it is true we should have concern when we fall, the real problem is not simply in the falling, the real problem is when we do not get back up and allow ourselves to start over.

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