I’ve said that line a lot. Like the time I forgot to check the latch on my back door, and while I was folding laundry I heard a knock- my neighbor coming to tell me that my 20 month old son was wandering around the back yard alone. My heart stopped beating while I checked every inch of his body to be sure he was okay (a process he found hilarious) and then as soon as I could calm myself down I laughingly said to my neighbor “I can’t believe I would do that. There’s no excuse. But at least that’s one mistake I’ll never make again.”
A mother herself, she nodded knowingly. And she replied, “That’s the good thing about mistakes. You learn from them.”
Like the time I wanted to add cinnamon to a recipe, and seeing red powder I didn’t really even look at the label. Imagine my surprise when my spice cake had cayenne pepper as the primary flavor! Or the time I put bread under the broiler and then went into the other room to fetch something without setting a timer. Someone came to the door and I forgot about the bread until I smelled it charring. Or there’s the time I put pizza back in a warm oven for my husband, and we both forgot about it until the next time I needed to bake something. I started the oven preheating, smelled something strange… Well, I’ll never do THAT again!
There are more serious times- like the time I was twelve and at a new school where I had few friends. A gaggle of girls started talking badly about my mormon friend, how weird her clothes were and how annoying it was when she started getting “preachy”, how odd it was that she had such a huge family (she was on the lower middle end of seven kids from eighteen to four), and on, and on. Desperate to be accepted I joined in the conversation, just to turn around and see my only true friend crying in the doorway.
Lesson learned. I will NEVER again say something I don’t believe only to gain acceptance or approval. Our words all carry power and a price. But out of all of the bad I’ve done, to meals and to people, some good has come out of it. Because all of these mistakes I’ve turned into something positive. An opportunity to learn and grow and mold myself. As much pain as some mistakes may cause, like the pain I caused to my friend Faith, if we are willing to admit our shortsightedness, if we are willing to be humbled and broken and to ask for the world (or our own mouths) to forgive us, we can grow. We can learn. We can be better.
As bad as a mistake can be, we can always choose to never make it again.