Those stupid dinosaurs came back to bite me.
Having failed so many times in my life at so many different things I have picked my life heroes very carefully. On the top of my list is President Abraham Lincoln. All his failures make me realize that life is not so bad. As I was thinking about the topic this week, I remembered a quote by Lincoln that I love.
"If I were to try to read, much less answer, all the attacks made on me, this shop might as well be closed for any other business. I do the very best I know how - the very best I can; and I mean to keep doing so until the end. If the end brings me out all right, what's said against me won't amount to anything. If the end brings me out wrong, ten angels swearing I was right would make no difference."
And that's all I have to say on the matter. OK its not, you all know I am long winded, so here it goes. I quoted Lincoln here because of the phrase "I do the very best I know how- the very best I can, and I mean to keep doing it until the end" Having failed so badly at life, I love his attitude. I love the fact that he does the best he can. Some people may have a more clear understanding of right and wrong, some people may have a better capacity to select the right choices, and there are some that are great at learning from making the wrong choices. My suggestion to all is to do the very best they know how to, and keep doing it to the end. On top of President Lincoln's words I add to always strive to do better, to be better, and to make your own life and those around you better.
We all have some knowledge of right and wrong. We all have the ability to pick right over wrong. I believe that in general we are doing alright. We are not perfect, but there is a lot of good being picked over evil in this world. There are times when we all fall; there are moments of weakness that become defining points in our lives. A lot of times we focus on the negative, and the wrong we have done. It is better to focus on the lessons we have learned. The strengths we have developed to overcome our weaknesses, and our wrong choices. I think if we were to ask JP if she is a strong person for having been through what she has been through, I bet she would say yes. I am sure that anyone reading this could share the ways that they have been strengthened by having made unfortunate mistakes in their lives. As the old adage goes, "The Glory of man is to rise each time we fall".
I do not think it is a question of knowing right from wrong, or knowing right and hoosing right, I think it is a question of are we raising each time we fall? Because you would have to be an idiot to think that we are not going to fall.
Now as to the title. Oh the infamous dinosaur incident of the first grade. I remember it like it was yesterday, and not some 25 years ago. Mrs. Miller had just let us go to recess, and P.M and I acted like we were going out to play. But really we were not. We were plotting to steal the plastic dinosaurs from one of our classmates, which he had left in his bag in the coat closet. Did we know that taking something that did not belong to us was wrong? Well after we got caught that was our excuse, but I can say now, yes, yes we knew it was wrong, and we still did it. We got about three days worth of excitement out of those dinosaurs. But the entire time I had a nagging sickness in my stomach. That misdirection of good choices in my life weighed as hard on me as any wrong doing I have done since. I was literally sick. Of course there can the fateful day a few days later when my dad got the call from P.M.s dad and he marched me across the street and the four of us sat down and discussed what had happened. I remember the first cover was to lie, lie and lie some more, anything to get out of trouble. But the guilt built more and more. The nagging sickness worsened very second. And then it hit. The reason I was getting sick. I had let my dad down. He had taught me that it was wrong to take something that did not belong to me, and I did it. I was in tears and scared to death, was my dad going to hate me for life? That was all I could think about, (that and what was going to happen when my mom, the enforcer of rules in our home was going to do to me). Well the dinosaurs were returned, some sort of shamed apology was made to E.B. and over the course of a few weeks the incident slowly went away, except for my brother making fun of me for it for years after that. I remember trying extra hard to return to my fathers grace over those weeks. Trying to be extra good, and do what I was told. I somehow made it back into my dads favor. Of course now that I look back at the meaningless incident that took place 25 years ago I was never out of my father's grace. He may have been disappointed in my decision, but he never stopped loving me. So it is with our family and friends, and with our God, we make mistakes and we fall, but they never stop loving us, (unless they are dead beats, in which case, I still love you). I fully believe that there comes a great joy for our family and friends to see us rise and over come. So to sum up my thoughts, I say this: None of us are perfect, we make mistakes, but you have to rise above them. You can not dwell on them, you can learn from them, but don't dwell. Take the lessons you learned write them in a journal, talk about them with a friend, but do not dwell on your mistakes from the past. And never think you are a bad person for having made a mistake, "To err is human, but to forgive is divine," and we always have to forgive ourselves for our short comings. I had a seminary teacher who used to yell to us as we left the building BABU, everyday, BABU, without fail BABU. A very simple phrase, with a lot of power. Be A Better You.
Love you all and have a fantastic weekend!
PS to the Faulconers: I would like you both to sing "Love at Home" prior to
leaving any comments here.