I missed my flight today. The airline was kind enough to send me updates on the delayed fight. However, both my first and second flight were delayed. I got the second flight time in my head while I was still at first airport. That is why I missed my flight even though I was in the airport while the flight was boarding.
As an experienced traveler I’m embarrassed when I make such a novice mistake. After missing my flight I began to mentally berate myself for making such a blunder—but then I stopped. I just don’t have the bandwidth to get upset at the abundance of mistakes I make.
Part of me wondered, “As often as I goof things up, how in the world does God ever get me to the places I am to speak?” But then another question came to mind. “As often as I fly—is it really any wonder that I miss a flight now and then?”
I was on the phone with one of my sisters when I realized I had missed my flight. She remind me to give thanks in everything (1 Thessalonians 5:18). I took her advice and started thinking through a few of the benefits of having a brain that frequently scrambles details.
1—I thank God that perfectionism is something I rarely struggle with.
Perfectionism is dangerous both for those who come close to attaining perfection as well as for those who long for perfection but fail to reach it. In my case, blundering so often has taught me to roll with reality instead of dreaming that I can be perfect. I can’t even manage a facade of “keeping my act together,” and that’s okay. Jesus kept His act together on my behalf. God doesn’t love me any more or less based on my being pulled together or falling apart.
2—I thank God that He keeps teaching me.
While I’m tempted to grieve the time and money lost in my blunders, I remember a wise former boss who used to call such perceived losses an investment in a good education. Certainly today was yet another chance for me to learn that I should wait by my gate when flights are delayed (even though it was blissful to sit in the sun and take pictures of the statue by the fountain).
More than honing my frequent-flyer skills, today was another lesson in the reality that life is unpredictable in ways that are sometimes inconvenient, sometimes tragic, but also sometimes blissful and beneficial. God is teaching me to roll with what comes without fear. He works all of it together for good to those who He loves and calls. No blunder of mine makes Him love me less.
3—I thank God that I’m not big enough to mess up His plans for me.
My blunders highlight my myriad weaknesses. That gives Jesus a myriad opportunities to be strong. (2 Corinthians 12:10). He had thought through how to save humans from sin even before humans began to sin. If He can handle redeeming the human race, I’m confident He’s not going to struggle with the results of my past, present, or future blunders.
How have you found comfort lately in God’s perfect, capable love for you even when you are feeling imperfect and incapable? What helps you stay thankful when your mistakes seem to take center stage?