Well, illness got the best of me and I missed a day of posting to my blog.  It was one day.  I was sleeping and delirious with fever, good reasons to have missed posting.  Yet, I feel like I’ve failed again.  I have 29 consecutive posts.  A good effort toward my goal of writing every day through Lent.  So how does one missed day make it feel like such a disaster?  It’s as if the whole endeavor was a waste, because of one small, excusable moment of less-than-perfect performance.

I think that’s how some of us look at our lives – measured by the mistakes.  Why do we judge ourselves so harshly?  When you think back on your life – any part of it – do you remember the moments where you shined, the smiles and laughter you brought to those around you?  Or, do you remember the “what if” and “if only” moments?  If you were to write your biography, would it contain more positive or negative statements?

It seems so easy for us to notice the imperfections in ourselves and in each other.  What a wonderful world it may be if we truly saw the good in other people first.  We can’t, we shouldn’t hide our mistakes.  That’s how we learn and grow.  Everything that’s happened in our lives, good or bad, has shaped who we are.  Denying the less favorable instances would be to deny a part of ourselves.  We need to give ourselves and those around us the chance to be viewed as a whole person.  Remember math class from way-back-when…”the whole is equal to the sum of its parts.”  I’d like to change that to “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts” (sorry physicists).  We are not broken relationships and missed opportunities.  We are beautiful, loving, whole human beings who, at times, struggle.

Chart your life on a time line from when you were born.  Put all the important events on it – everything that had an impact on you.  There may be siblings being born, broken arms, soccer trophies, graduations, marriages, divorces, children, grand-children, pets and families growing and passing away.  Read through your list for positive entries (made the honor roll) and negative ones (fought with sister at her wedding).  For every negative comment, go back and write two more positive ones.  Sometimes we don’t think of them first, but they’re there.  You can add “took a meal to neighbor who didn’t feel well” or “said a prayer for a friend.”  If we must mark the moments of our life, let’s make it more of the good moments, the one’s worth remembering. 

How blessed we are that God sees us as a whole.  He knows every bit of our brokenness, sees all our failures, and loves us as a whole person just the same.  That is the character of God we should all strive to be like to each other.  And, maybe to ourselves.

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