You may have heard this many times over the years; but it never seems to lose its relevancy for my life:
Last night I took my son to our favorite diner. I ordered the egg beaters veggie omelet, with a fruit salad, and no potatoes. I was rockin' the health! My son ordered nachos and they brought him a gargantuan-sized plate with gobs of chili and cheese and sour cream. After I finished my own meal, my son asked if I wanted to try a bite. I thought "one taste won't hurt" (I really thought that) and it was so good I had another. And another. And another. With a little extra sour cream. And an extra little scoop of the cheese. Here and there. A few more times.
Before you know it, the waitress came back and asked if she could get us dessert, I thought, "I've already blown it, I may as well have pie" and so I got some apple pie. Which of course isn't all that great without being heated up and having a dollop of vanilla ice cream on it.
I was feeding the greedy, can-never-be-filled-up glutton inside of me who didn't care about next right choices or how I'd feel afterwards. I just did what I wanted to do in the moment. That's not even really right. I just followed a compulsion and didn't stop it. I wasn't emotional. I wasn't feeling lonely. I wasn't trying to fill a big gaping hole of emotional need. I was just on automatic freaking pilot.
I don't think it's possible to always make 'the next right choice.' Do you? We're human. We're imperfect. We're fallible. I think this battle of the wolves isn't going to be won by "which one you feed." I think this battle is going to be won by "which one you feed the MOST."
Sometimes, the 'next right choice' is acknowledging a misstep, a mistake, a sin, a faux pas, a weakness, a momentary lapse of sanity.....and imprinting the memory of how that felt so as to reduce the likelihood of repeating it. And then forgiving yourself and letting it go.
It's not "all or nothing." It's not "black and white." It's not "good wolf, bad wolf." In my world, it's step by step, choice by choice, try to do my best and accept that sometimes I will forget to even try. And That's OKAY.
Fortunately, I'm going to get another meal a few hours later to try again and I get to choose better and turn everything back around again. So this morning I had a bowl of oatmeal, an organic yogurt and an awesome honeycrisp apple.
Fortunately, there's a do-over button every time we make a bad choice......
(Lyrics to the song are below)
There is no guilt here, there is no shame.
No pointing fingers, there is no blame.
What happened yesterday has disappeared.
The dirt has washed away and now it's clear.
There's only grace. There's only LOVE.
There's only mercy, and believe me, it's enough.
Your sins are gone without a trace.
There's nothing left now..there's only grace.
You're starting over now under the sun.
You're stepping forward now, a new life has begun.
Your new life has begun.
And if you should fall again, get back up, get back up!
Reach out and take my hand. Get back up, just get back up again!