"Oops, I Made A Mistake"

            This is a true account recorded in the Police Log of Sarasota, Florida.

            An elderly Florida lady did her shopping and, upon returning to her car, found four males in the act of leaving with her vehicle. She dropped her shopping bags and drew her handgun, proceeding to scream at the top of her voice, "I have a gun, and I know how to use it! Get out of the car!"

            The four men didn't wait for a second invitation. They got out and ran like mad. The lady, somewhat shaken, then proceeded to load her shopping bags into the back of the car and got into the driver's seat. She was so shaken that she could not get her key into the ignition. She tried and tried, and then it dawned on her why. For the same reason she did not understand why there was a football, a Frisbee and two 12 packs in the front seat.

            A few minutes later, she found her own car parked four or five spaces farther down. She loaded her bags into the car and drove to the police station to report her mistake. The sergeant to whom she told the story couldn't stop laughing. He pointed to the other end of the counter, where four pale men were reporting a carjacking by a mad, elderly woman described as white, less than five feet tall, glasses, curly white hair, and carrying a large handgun. No charges were filed.

            Have you ever made a mistake? Well of course you have, we all have. What did you do after you made that mistake? Did you get down and depressed? Did you feel ashamed or maybe embarrassed? Did you continue to dwell on it and become consumed with the thought of your mistake? Do you still at times think about the mistakes you have made in life and question yourself as to why you did this or that? Do you ask what if? What if you would not have done this or that, how might my life be different?

            We have all made mistakes and we will continue to make mistakes. What we must do after we have made a mistake is, learn from it and move on. Do not dwell on the past. If you are dwelling on the past you are not looking towards the future.

            Each and every one of us will make mistakes in our walk with God, but it is how we respond to those mistakes that will determine our worth in the kingdom of God. Paul made several mistakes before he began His walk with God. Paul said of himself, “It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all” (1 Tim 1:15). Paul understood he had done many things contrary to the will of God, but he learned from his mistakes and was determined to do better. I believe Paul understood what Jesus spoke of in Luke 9:62 when he said, “No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” We cannot dwell on the past, we must press on towards the goal.

            Read carefully what Paul said to the church in Philippi, “Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:12-14).

            Remember we will all make mistakes. How will you respond to those mistakes? Paul said it was through the blood of Christ that he found forgiveness, “For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Col. 1:13-14).