Friday, April 2, 2010

The "Undo" Button

One of my guilty pleasures in life is playing solitaire on the computer.

Frank introduced me to the game last spring while we were on vacation in NC. I was slow at first: click, study, study, search; click, search, search, study; click....... (notice the subtle but all important variations in my routine. Smile.)

He told the girls that he was shocked how quickly the habit took hold with me. One morning he was dozing on the couch after his early quiet time when he wakened to this consistent but oh so annoying little sound: "click/swhish; click/swish; click/swhish". It took several minutes for his mind to focus. But as he peeked over the back of the couch, he discovered me sitting hunched over the computer at the kitchen counter trying to quietly play solitaire at 5:30 in the morning!

Yep, I was pretty bad. (Badly addicted and bad at playing.) But I'm doing much better now. So much better that during our fast time in January, I had to fast playing entirely for forty days. The Lord knows exactly how to get our full attention, doesn't He? And I've now limited myself to only three games at a time and no more than three times a day. (Yeah, that doesn't exactly qualify for broken addiction does it? Sigh. Please offer grace with the understanding that many days I'm too busy to play at all. Better? Thanks.)


I think one of my favorite parts of the entire game is the "undo" button. It's this amazing little button that allows me to choose a move, see the results, decide if I think another option would have been better, click said magic button and cause everything to go right back to what it was before. Amazing, right?!

Don't you have days that you wish included the option of the "undo" button? I sure do!
Said the wrong thing? - "Undo!"
Received bad news? - "Undo!"
Someone hurt you deeply? - "Undo!"
Missed an opportunity? - "Undo!"

A few years ago I saw previews for a movie with a similar theme. The main character was given the opportunity to simply fast-forward all the uncomfortable or unpleasant portions of his life. (A friend confirmed for me the predictable outcome, so I didn't have to waste time watching it myself. Smile.) Bottom line? He essentially fast-forwarded his life away; magically realizing his mistake at the end and gladly relinquishing his ability in order to once again live ALL of life - even the difficult parts.

Huh, not too sure how quickly I would have come to that conclusion. (I'm just kidding! Sheesh!)

Truth is, life must have some variety. Typically when we quote, "Variety is the spice of life!" we think of joyful days, adventurous journeys, happy reunions. We forget that when cooking, some wonderful spice is added by things like onions and hot peppers and bay leaves and ....well, you get the idea. Any one of those things eaten by itself would be truly nasty. But when I mix those in with other ingredients, they compliment and actually enhance the overall flavor of the dish.

(Predictable conclusion coming now. Smile.)

I don't enjoy the days when an "undo" button would be useful but I understand their purpose in the bigger picture:
Poor choices make me pray to have more wisdom for next time around.
Harsh words make me more appreciative of loving words spoken by others.
Missed opportunities sharpen my attention and push me to be better prepared.

I probably would not be a good steward of my own personal "undo" button which is why God did not provide one. But He has equipped us all with two very powerful options for dealing with difficult times - trust and forgiveness.

He has proven over and over again that He is trustworthy; so I don't have to waste time fretting over the outcome of my mistakes. And He gently leads us down the road of forgiveness when our own hearts are broken; so I don't wear myself out dragging unnecessary baggage.

Well, now that I think about it maybe trust and forgiveness are just as good as an "undo" button. You probably already know the scripture that compliments this thought. Romans 8:28 "..we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him..."

Hope you find just exactly the right Easter bonnet!