Tuesday, November 11, 2014

I Want a Do-Over

There aren’t that many in my life, but there are certain points, certain moments, when I desperately want a do-over – another chance, a time re-set – to do again, to do better, that which went awry before.

It’s not the moments you might expect – a marriage choice that did not stand the test of time . . . important acts of kindness missed . . . the chance to have harsh words recalled . . . it would be nice if I had done differently, but I didn’t, and consequences are a part of life too.

No – what I want for my do-overs, is the chance to begin certain conversations again, to start afresh without the ringing of (my own) false words in my ears – false not because untrue; false because beside the point.

I want a do-over to recast what becomes an argument into something else, something more important, something more true . . . like a prayer . . . or a gentle question . . . or even a silence.

I want, in my do-overs, the wisdom to remember a few things, things like:

1. What worked for me might not work for you.

2. Logic is not the place from which most of us make up our minds.

3. Discussion about people not in the room is, perhaps, never wise, seldom kind or loving.

4. When encouraging you to look through the lens of love to make a decision, I must make sure that I am looking through that same lens when beholding you.

5. Words have weight as well as meaning and sometimes (most times) less of them is better.

6. My epiphanies are not (necessarily) yours.

So in my most recent do-over desire, the first time around, I am in a room with a handful of other folk and we are convened to discuss what the church, our local incarnation of it, will do; what the bible has to teach us, how we read and understand this thing we call God’s Word.

It quickly becomes not a conversation, but a debate, the thing I had prayed so hard would not happen, happened.  And it is (largely) my fault, my responsibility.

How could I do it differently?

In so many ways.

But I didn’t.  I got sucked in.  I forgot the things I already know – silence is as much a part of a conversation as are words . . . questions matter even more than answers . . . a word from (as opposed to of) God is something that must be waited for . . . breathing room matters . . . my understandings need to be shared (if at all) as just that – mine . . . the Spirit doth move across a group yet requires the space to do so . . . sound, like fury, signifies – well, not much.

It wasn’t horrible.  No one died.  No one stormed out.  And lots will be percolating in the days to come.  But somehow, against all my own plans and desires, I ended up back where I never wanted to be – in a debate rather than a prayer.

For that, O Lord, I would so appreciate a do-over.


  1. Back in the 90s, M.Scott Peck, M.D., wrote a wonderful book called "Community Making and Peace". He described holding meetings such as yours -- even with church groups -- and how to reach "Community".. It's not easy, as you know. But, with practice and love, and lots of spirit, it can be done. (If your library has a copy, it is well worth the read.)

    Your little church is so lucky to have you!


    1. Marilyn, I know a bit of his work, but haven't read this one - thanks for the recommendation -- and the affirmation. Hugs from 'up north' :-) Beth

  2. Hey you

    Seeing your pain and while your pain is not mine- I have deep smypathy and my hearts breaks for everyone

    You have done what is always hard to do- you have looked inward at self instead of outward at cause to find a way to make it different- so my words for you are...

    You are brave
    You are willing to do hard work
    You have opened yourself to God

    You are an inspiration not because of what you have done but because God choose to show others they need to do this through you

    God gave you strength to be brave
    God gave you perseverance to do hard work
    God filled you heart with God's love so you could open yourself to the HS

    Love to you