Blowing It! Getting Back on Track When You Mess Up
YOU AREN’T THE ONLY ONE!
Have you ever found yourself in a place and time in your life where you sat with your head in your hands wishing you could disappear? Your mind replayed recent actions and you knew that you had really “Blown It.” You are not the only one. Man, have I “Blown It” in my life a few times. I will spare you the details, although I’m sure some might have some entertainment value. Let me just say that I have blown it…
- As a husband
- As a parent
- As a pastor
- As a worker
- As a Christian
- As a man
…and all of those and more have multiple times of “blowing it” in one way or another. I have sat with my head in my hands, weighed down by the shame and failure, a multitude of times. As I am sure you know as well, it’s not a pleasant place to be. Sometimes it can feel like a very lonely place. Well, let me assure you that you are not alone in the “blew it again” department.
In fact, not only are you not alone, but you have a huge number of fellow “blown it” brothers in the fraternity. Think about this list of ancient men who blew it, and some repeatedly:
- Adam – he has the dubious distinction of being the first man to “blow it.”
- The Whole Population of the World in the days of Noah
- The Whole Population of Babel – pride is often the first step to “blowing it” for me too.
- Abraham – even he made mistakes that were pretty significant
- Moses – this “Deliverer” disobeyed God and wasn’t able to enter the promised land
- David – major bad choices, yet still referred to as a “man after God’s own heart.”
- Solomon – the apple didn’t fall far from the Davidic tree
- The disciple Peter – one of my heroes, yet he was known well for “blowing it.”
So, chances are you have blown it. I can readily admit that I’ve blown it. People all around us have, are, and will be blowing it in life. So, what do we do once we have blown it? That’s what really makes the difference.
Step One is Pretty Simple – Admit You Blew It
One of the things that frustrates my wife is when I blow it, but I refuse to admit I blew it. This is especially evident when it comes to things like traveling and directions. If I miss a turn I will often drive further than I need to hoping to get out from under a blunder before surrendering and turning around. Pride and stubbornness can become a real problem when it comes to admitting you blew it, but there can’t be any restoration until this first step is taken.
Be Willing to Make a Change – Get Back on Track
First you have to admit that you blew it. Then, especially if you are in the process still of blowing it then stop and change what you are doing. How silly it would be if a painter put his brush to a wall and realized that he didn’t have the color the customer requested, but decided to go ahead and use it anyway on the whole house. We have to make changes, and sometimes those are difficult changes. Making a U-Turn when I missed my turn is only difficult because it’s a blow to my pride. Making changes in our relationships or lifestyles can be far more difficult. Changing how we are doing things may mean changing in significant ways. Be willing to make those changes.
Be Understanding when Others Blow It – Be Helpful not Hurtful
All around us are people just like us. Flesh, muscle, intellect, and failures just like us. We make a serious mistake when we try to hold people to some unreachable standard and judge them when they blow it. We have to be willing to put our arms around those who have blown it and accept and receive them and help them when they need it. I have blown it in a lot of ways, and one of the things that has been a real help for me has been the people who have been able to look past my failure to my heart and hurts.
Years ago I blew it in a big way. I had embarrassed myself by “jumping the gun” with something. I had written an article and submitted it to the local paper about a position I had received. It was published in thousands of papers. Problem was that I was premature and didn’t actually have the position. I felt like a clod, and the feeling of failure was incredibly strong. The leader of the organization, who I had put in a really awkward position, could have very easily and understandably cast me aside and had nothing more to do with me. However, and why this experience is so vividly still etched in my mind and life-experience, he instead accepted me and loved me. To this day I remember the conversation and the amazement I felt at his forgiveness. To this day this leader is one of my best friends, a real mentor and teacher from afar. He had demonstrated this concept for me in life.
Making a Career out of Blowing It – It’s Living Life
I wish that I could say that I have some miracle key to NEVER BLOWING IT AGAIN. Unfortunately, as long as we are alive we will find new and not so new ways to blow it. It’s part of daily living, so this process needs to become part of daily life for us as well.\
- When you Blow It — Admit It
- When you are Off Course – Change Direction
- When Others Blow It – Be Accepting and Understanding