Have you ever had a day when you wished you could do it over?
In golf that’s called a mulligan. I had a day like that recently where I moved from faith to weakness within a few hours.
The day started out well. I was on my ‘A’ game, accomplishing a lot with things going smoothly. I studied verses on faith which lifted my confidence. No problems, just progress.
In the afternoon I had a dental appointment to fix a tooth. It went well from the dentist’s point of view, but not so much for me. You see, I’ve had a lot of dental work and get nervous when the needle gets near my mouth. I made the mistake of opening my eyes just as he was going to numb my jaw. Bad move. I didn’t want to open my mouth, lest I would bite him. A deep breath and I was OK. Let the numbing begin. The tooth was repaired successfully, but I was into my ‘B’ game–managing, but not doing my best.
With a numb mouth I didn’t want to talk to anyone. But I needed groceries for an upcoming cookout.
My quick stop into Walmart turned into a lengthy shopping experience with the after school crowd. Now I had a headache and a numb mouth. I hoped I didn’t drool at the checkout. Just get me home.
At home I unloaded everything, sat down and put my feet up for only a few minutes. I should have stayed there, but instead decided to get some bedding plants. Surely I’d would feel better playing in the dirt with ‘flower therapy.’
Two stores later, feeling hot and sweaty, I still hadn’t found what I wanted. I picked out some begonias anyway.
On my way home, hunger struck. Chewing was uncomfortable with my numb jaw, even five hours after the procedure. Tired and hungry, I slipped into my ‘C’ game–just doing what I had to do to survive the moment.
Must. Have. Milkshake.
Pulling into the parking lot of an ice cream store, I found a space in the front near the outdoor seating. A large group of adults and young children filled the picnic table. The grandparents looked my way as I left the car.
I got my milkshake and a sundae for my hubby. Mission accomplished! A faint smile crossed my lips. Now I could head home. Or so I thought.
Getting in my car, I noticed the entire group staring at me. What had I done?
One lady got up and approached me. She walked to her vehicle and rubbed a tiny spot of paint where my car door touched her SUV.
“That wasn’t there before.”
I apologized. She persisted.
She flagged her husband to come over, asking him if he thought it could be buffed out. She rubbed it again. And again.
They both just looked at me like I was a criminal. My jaw tingled as the novacaine wore off. I wanted to take my milkshake and go home.
The lady went back to the group; the children hung on the fence watching the scene. Her husband was now my judge.
“What do you want me to do?” I calmly asked.
He stared at me, saying nothing.
“Do you want cash or my insurance information?” I felt like I had to offer something.
“No, nothing.” He stared at me and then back to the tiny spot. No ding, just a dot of paint.
“I’m sorry. I’ll be more careful.” I felt tired and wilted. “God bless.”
I drove home feeling down. My comfort food, a soupy milkshake, wasn’t satisfying.
Planting the flowers gave me some time to pray. I had to press in to the Lord. Scripture verses came to mind:
“I have loved you with an everlasting love.”
“You are fearfully and wonderfully made.”
Slowly those truths lifted my spirits. No matter what happens, nothing can separate me from his love. I had to lay aside my crummy day and accept His love.
These incidents weren’t major events, but as the day went on, I was pulled down by each one. The Lord lifted my heart through refocusing my mind on what really matters.
Focus your faith on the Lord, not circumstances or people.
He is the One who redeems the mulligan.
When have you seen your faith rebound at the end of a bad day?