Have you ever made a really stupid mistake?  The kind where you look back and to yourself say: “how could I have done that” or “why didn’t that dawn on me?”  Making mistakes is how we humans learn though.  Case in point:  The salt and pepper shakers in the kitchen I use for cooking had a slight flaw.  My former roommate, Beverly, had inadvertently shoved the plug of the salt one too hard and it went into the shaker itself.  We tried getting it out to no avail!  So she put duct tape over the hole on the bottom.  Needless to say I have been using it but wondering where all the “extra” salt was coming from on the counter or the stove when it dawned on me that it was leaking out from under the duct tape!  Duh! 

That’s not my stupid mistake, though.  If you look carefully at the photo I posted with this article you will “get” my mistake!  When I went to the “Everything for the Kitchen” store to buy a new set I asked the girl where they were located.  She showed me where and I looked at several sets.  Not wanting to spend a lot of money on it, I chose this set.  The problem is—look at the size of the holes!  Trust me, you don’t want that much salt in anything!!  I couldn’t believe my eyes!  The first time I used it and it POURED out like rain, I was shocked!  Then I was really upset with myself.  “How stupid can you be, Barb?”  What was I thinking?  Problem was—I wasn’t!  But after the shock, I just simply laughed at myself!  Wow, what a lesson learned!!

I guess our goal in life isn’t to avoid mistakes, but to learn from them!  Laugh at yourself and move on; focus on the lesson learned.   I can tell you this:  I’ll never look at a salt shaker the same way ever again!

Lent might be a time when we remember some of our “mistakes.”  Now mistakes aren’t all sinful but some may need remembering so we can seek forgiveness, ask for God’s mercy, learn the lesson and walk on in faith and trust. 

I read this just lately but couldn’t find the author.  “Here’s something to think about with your mistakes:  God’s providence includes your choices, actions and the consequences that flow from them.  So when you make a stupid mistake, you have to live with the consequences but never alone.  God has a hopeful plan for you and no mistake can undo it.”

That’s a comforting thought!  God’s providential care is the most constant theme in our life.  Look for it.  Trust it.  Hope in it even on mistake strewn paths.  If you’ve ever made a stupid mistake, sinful or not, God is still there.  Lent is a time to remember God’s love, forgiveness, faithfulness and providence in our life.  These are the real lessons learned!


Barbara McMullen, CDP

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