February 18, 2012
And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the Word of the Lord, how He had said unto him, "Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny Me thrice." And Peter went out, and wept bitterly. Luke 22:61-62
Way back when, I spent a few years serving four congregations.
Back then Wednesdays were reserved for churches. That meant we crammed midweek services, confirmation, adult instruction, everything possible into the day. One such busy Wednesday my alarm didn't go off. (Actually it did, but I fell back to sleep.) Trying to make up for lost time, I stubbed my toe on a kitchen chair, searched for my lost catechism and misplaced keys. I hobbled to the car only to find my right front tire was low. The stop at the gas station made me later still.
The 30 miles between Hot Springs and Custer, South Dakota, were covered in record speed. Under full sail, I blew into town, failing to notice a stop sign posted at the city limits. I failed to notice the sign, which is why the policeman noticed me. He was kind enough not to use his siren.
I jumped out of the car, a practice that police frown on today, and stomped to his vehicle. As I walked, I ripped my license out of my wallet and handed it to him, mumbling, "Go ahead. Give me a ticket. Everything else is going wrong today." As the policeman tucked my license onto his clipboard, he slowly, gently said, "Sir, I know just what you mean. I used to have days like that before I became a Christian."
In my life there are moments which I wish I could do over. That conversation was one of them.
As I look through Scripture, I think most of the folks there had do-over days. If they had been given a do-over day, Adam and Eve might not have eaten the forbidden fruit; David might have kept his eyes to himself; Samson might not have shared some secrets with Delilah, and Peter would have watched his tongue at the high priest's courtyard.
No doubt you have some do-over days, too. Maybe you said something too harshly or possibly you never spoke the words of love that were in your heart. Don't you wish you could get that opportunity back?
Almost all of us have do-over days.
Since that is the case, I'd like to say a few things about do-over days. First, although others may harbor a grudge about something we've done or said, the Lord offers forgiveness. Because of Jesus' blood-bought redemption -- in the eyes of God -- every day His people live is a do-over day.
Every day God gives us is a day when we can learn from the past and try to be better in the future.
By the Holy Spirit's power, this life of holy living is a grand goal for we folks who don't always get it right the first time, for the folks who need do-over days.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, as a sinner, I do things I shouldn't and fail to do that which I should. I pray You will help me be better, as I live my life in thanksgiving to the Savior who gave His life, so I might live. In His Name I ask it. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries