I have an aversion to repetition. Let’s call it “repititionitis.” I would much prefer a new and unique activity as opposed to something that I’ve already done. It’s a malady that is both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, I’m not afraid to attempt something new. If it doesn’t pan out as expected, no big deal; I’ll either keep plowing forward and make it work or cut bait and move on. Bring on the next challenge!
For example, any kind of construction project is a “keep plowing forward” exercise for me. As a rookie carpenter I took on the task of finishing my basement. Needless to say, I made tons of mistakes along the way. Most professional carpenters have the discipline to recognize a mistake and start over to ensure quality craftsmanship. When I made a mistake it usually went something like this:
“Shoot,” as my palm slaps my forehead.
Well, that’s not gonna work, I think to myself. I should probably replace that stud (rerun that wire, rehang that piece of drywall, etc.). But, invariably, the repititionitis won’t allow me revisit those tasks and I hear a familiar, inner voice:
You can make it work.
Oh man, you wouldn’t believe some of the wacky patchwork going on behind the drywall in my basement. I know the exact location of a stud that is composed of four randomly cut pieces of 2×4. A professional carpenter would just shake his head. You’ve heard that “love covers a multitude of sins.” Luckily, so does drywall.
Carpentry aside, I believe this manifestation of repititionitis is actually a good thing. A mistake is not something I’m going to dwell on very long. I’m going to reevaluate, make a new plan, and make the best of the situation. The scriptures encourage us have this mentality as well. Philippians 3:13 says, “Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (emphasis mine)” In other words, keep plowing forward.
We can’t live in the land of mistakes. It’s not a happy place. But if we can recognize the mistake, pray and learn from it, and then move forward, the Lord can turn our mistakes into a blessing. Over time, I was able to turn my “land of mistakes” into a pretty nice man cave. Now I can watch college football every Saturday and yell as much as I want to. Wait a minute…every Saturday? That sounds a little repetitious. Uh oh.