We recently joined a new gym. I also took kickboxing classes, btw. A very good way to deal with stress and frustration. I highly recommend it. The change in gym membership reminded me of the following post from three years ago. I thought I’d share it again because making mistakes is something we all do. Making the most of our mistakes, however, is done by very few.
Making mistakes is never pretty. As a matter of fact, it can be downright embarrassing, but it doesn’t have to be a total loss.
My husband has taken “giving the shirt off your back” to an entirely new level.
(I have his permission to share this with you, btw)
He does his workout at the YMCA, and today after a grueling hour of exercise, he took a shower like usual. When he left the shower, he grabbed his towel, like usual, and he went to his locker clad only in his towel. He’s a creature of habit.
This is where the story gets interesting!
While he was working the combination on his locker, a guy leaned through the doorway from the shower room, and called out something.
My sweet husband didn’t quite catch what the guy said, so he asked him to repeat it.
“Can I borrow your towel?”
Well, that was a show-stopper. Mostly dried off, with the towel tightly hugging his mid-section, he paused. He processed. And in those few seconds, he did what I’m pretty sure I would NEVER have done. He ripped that towel off and tossed it to the guy.
Don’t try to picture it.
Wait a minute. I’m still laughing about it…
Okay, the story doesn’t end there. Needless to say, my altruistic spouse was a little miffed at having his generosity challenged in such a …. thorough way. So, he sat down (got dressed first), and mulled for a bit.
After all, the guy was BORROWING the towel. Sure it was weird, but he’d bring it back, right?
Five minutes…seven minutes…eight minutes….enough is enough. He couldn’t take it any more. Generosity or no generosity, this was getting in the way of family time now. So, he settled the matter in his head and charged into the shower room to check on his towel.
The guy wasn’t there. The towel was gone. HOWEVER, my husband’s towel was still hanging in the same place he put it BEFORE he took his shower.
It didn’t register with him at first either, but then the naked truth dawned. He had taken the other guy’s towel.
You really need to know something about my husband for the moral of this little story to hit home. He likes to be right. He prides himself on it. He’s even been known to make it expressly apparent to you when he’s right, and you’re wrong.
So you can imagine the split second of horror that hit him when he realized he had taken the guy’s towel, and even worse, the second punch of realizing he had tossed the guy a wet, used towel instead of letting him borrow a clean unused one.
The guy had evidently gone out to the pool area. This whole situation was still salvageable. So armed with an apology and an explanation, my sweetie ventured out to the pool, fully dressed, sporting a fresh towel, and searching the water for this stranger. He didn’t find him.
I’m pretty sure the guy was holding his breath and staying under the water, so as not to be found by this towel-stealing crazy man.
Making mistakes is never pretty. It hurts. It hurts our pride. It hurts other people, and it’s unavoidable.
WE ALL MAKE MISTAKES.
But it’s not those things that define us. It’s what we do afterwards that becomes part of who we are, and who we will be.
Being honest about who we are, and the mistakes we’ve made takes courage, a hunger for more, and the ability to laugh a little more than we cry. Yesterday’s post was about that kind of honesty. The kind that lets people see you and your failures.
It’s very good to be fully known and fully loved. God offers that to each of us, and we get to try to do that for one another. May the road of honesty be long as we walk together through our mistakes led on by Love.