Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Mistake It This Instant!

Mistake It

When an artist (a painter) needs a color along the likes of a dusty purple, he doesn’t reach for a bottle of “Burnt Eggplant.” Instead, he takes the raw primary colors of blue and red, along with varying amounts of white and black, to blend, mix, add and dabble. He experiments until he has created just the right shade of purple envisioned in his mind’s eye before ever touching brush to canvas. Creating a color—just the right color—takes time, experimentation, and…at least two colors.

Why is it that when we make a mistake, we see it as having grabbed the wrong bottle of purple, and that somehow we’ve failed? Why can’t we see the mistake as the first in a two- (often more) step process? Each step, each “oops,” is necessary to creating the desired outcome.

Further still, perhaps what we classify as “mistakes” really aren’t mistakes at all. They might be just the catalysts (the shades of color) needed to shape our character. Perhaps every time we “mess up,” the mistake—and not our own limited understanding of its purpose—propels us toward God’s ideal outcome in us. As white and black alter a shade of color, so too do our mistakes allow us the chance to shine more brightly than we ever would have had we gotten it “right” the first time.

If Jesus was perfect, why do you think He made the “mistake” of not getting the blind man’s sight right the first time (see verse below)? Perhaps it wasn’t a mistake at all. Perhaps our understanding of what a mistake is…is mistaken…

“They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man's eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, ‘Do you see anything?’ He looked up and said, ‘I see people; they look like trees walking around.’ Once more Jesus put his hands on the man's eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly.”
Mark 8:22-25