End over end the car tumbled. Cars whizzed by.
My car came to a sliding, grinding stop somewhere off the side of the road.
I pushed rewind.
Spinning. Flipping. Cars going backwards passed me again. I put myself back onto the road back around the corner that I crashed on. I tapped the breaks and drove down the tricky stretch with no issues. I even went on to win the race.
Oh how I have come to love the rewind feature on this racing video game. I can undo all my mistakes. I can redo the moments that take me out of the race. Damage undone. Victory still mine. I don’t have to lose when I can undo all that makes me a loser.
I used to wish I could rewind my life. A lot. Go back and change decisions. Go back and choose not to date that guy. Go back and make healthy choices.
But the truth is going back to change the circumstances of my life would change my life completely. My sense of empathy would be different or non-existent. I might not be married to my husband, be blessed with my children or know the friends I have. Perhaps another state would be home. Perhaps I wouldn’t even know Christ….
My heart would carry fewer scars, certainly. And I might have more money or be famous (goodness knows those are things that really improve life, huh??). I would likely have cried fewer tears.
I wouldn’t be me. I wouldn’t have stretch marks that speak of babies (both planned and unplanned) that grew in my belly. I wouldn’t have stories to share with other women as they struggle with insecurity, anger, depression and sadness. I wouldn’t have once embarrassing moments to weave as tales for laughter and relief for other women.
In erasing my mistakes and rewriting my past there would be no story of grace on the pages of my life. I couldn’t share grace. I couldn’t live grace. I wouldn’t be thankful for grace. I wouldn’t know what it is. Or how to offer grace to others, for I never would have received it.
It was the lowest points in my life where God began to speak the loudest. As I scraped my backside on the bottom of the pit I dug, I began to look up. Ask for help. And hope for rescue.
And, oh, how He came. With love and sense of security. Promises of provision, eternity and purpose.
Now, imagine me with this rewind button. At the first sign of heartache or pain, insecurity or doubt, failure or folly I would have pressed the button.
Just like the cars that drove backwards passed me while I rewound the game, God would have moved back. I would have missed Him. I would always be moving without Him.
I can’t imagine a life without Jesus’ love.
Since the night I got on my knees in my tiny little bedroom and ask God to take over my life nothing has been the same. My heart is changed. My life is changed.
I’ve still made mistakes, some worse than I had made before I knew of God’s presence in my life. And while I lived with the consequences of my own actions, God never left me and is always moving to make me a better me. More like Him.
Oh the laughter that my husband, my brother and I share when I play this racing game (the game that really is my brother’s). Sometimes I am great — shiny side up between the lines zipping my way to an easy first place finish. Sometimes I am a crash test dummy pushing cars, banging into walls and seeing if I can somehow flip my car back over to drive…again. And sometimes I drive like Coco the Chimp. Arms above my head holding the controller and driving better than I do when I held the controller in front of me. I don’t know why this helps, but sometimes it does (until I get the giggles…which always happens).
Really I lead my life this way, too. I think. Some days I am on my game – focusing on God and who He calls me to be. Busy homeschooling, cooking, cleaning, ministry…whatever…I’m just on. Rocking it. (No need to rewind.)
Other days I lose my cool at my children. Give into a nap instead of household duties. Gossip when the phone rings in the afternoon. Somehow I finish the day, but it is not pretty and definitely not a pattern I’d like to repeat. (rewind??)
Then there are days when I am Coco the Chimp. I throw my arms up and ignore all that God has made me to be. Anger flashes. Grumbles rumble. I shoo my kids away. And snarl at my husband. There’s no giggling here. Just a life lived like no one is in control and nothing matters. (um, can I get a rewind, please?)
I am happy that I don’t have an option to rewind or reset, because I know there are days I would use it. And I would miss the glory of God as He shines in my broken life, gently reminding me of all things heaven-sent. I would miss Jesus.
Father, thank you for forgiving my mistakes, shortcomings and sins. Thank you for redeeming my life and making something amazing with my nothing. Help me to live in and through you so that my days are Yours and help me to have fewer days of crashing and bashing. Thank you for grace. Amen.
What about you do you ever wish for a rewind button? Do you find that some days you are just in the groove and other days you are scraping and bouncing off the walls?