SOME MISTAKES ARE BUILT TO LAST…

mistakes

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Regret lingers… Long after forgiveness has been granted, even humbly acknowledged and accepted, regretful memories hang around. Not all the time, just ever so often, as if to remind us of our need for something much bigger than ourselves.

I’ve heard it said, “some mistakes were built to last.” I guess as long as our minds still function the memories of mistakes do as well. Without those memories of mistakes and choices, there probably wouldn’t be a lot in the way of wisdom, at least not for me.

Right out of the blue last week in the middle of a time of frustration, with the emotion of anger welling up inside me I remembered it… We were in 6th or 7th grade. It was after school in the parking lot, killing time before basketball practice.

The kid I’ll call Fred who was on the basketball team with me borrowed the kid I’ll call Ted’s bike. Fred was doing wheelies with the back wheel. “Lemme’ try it”! I announced. Fred graciously handed over the bike that wasn’t his, with the owner’s silence as approval. Ted, who wasn’t on the basketball team, sat silent while I practiced back wheelies on his bike.

I was enjoying myself with my new learned skill on a bicycle that belonged to someone else. My mode of transportation at the time was walking, hitchhiking, catching rides with friends, and riding on friend’s handlebars, and that was about it for my means of transport.

I missed having a bike. Now that I was enjoying riding one, I didn’t want to give Ted’s back, at least not when he wanted me to. “I gotta’ go”! he yelled finally. “C’mon, just a minute”! was my answer as I kept riding, practicing back wheelies.

In frustration as I slowed down, Ted jumped on the back of his bike yelling, “Gimme’ my bike”! – “I gotta go home”!!!  “One more time”? I asked in sincerity.  “No”!! – “I gotta go”! he answered in frustration.

Without a thought running through my head, except for frustration and anger filling my insides, I did it… A mistake that haunts me to this day… As much as I regret my actions and am sickened by this type of behavior in others, I did it…

I can’t take it back… The damage was done, to be forever undone. I carry with me the regret and overwhelming remorse that helped change me from a person I was to the person I am.

It didn’t take a millisecond for my right elbow to sink quick and deep into Ted’s diaphragm… I can’t get that millisecond back. That mistake was built to last.

Ted fell off the back of the bike, the wind knocked out of him as tears started streaming down his face. In disgust I pushed the his bike on top of him while he lay on the pavement. I called him names as he lay there struggling to breathe and crying…

My disgust wasn’t for Ted… My disgust was instantly for myself… If my dad or brothers would have seen or even heard about my behavior, there would have been hell to pay.

I thank God for some of the hard memories that remind me of how a wrong choice, made in emotion, that only take a millisecond, can damage a life or lives forever.

I can’t even remember now if I said I’m sorry… I’m not even sure “sorry” is enough…

I know one thing that is enough…

God’s grace…