Ok, I guess that’s not completely true. I suppose you could look at the day you’re born as square one. What I mean is there’s no such thing as ‘returning’ to square one.
I love to knit. There, my secret is out. I’m a knit-wit. And with Christmas just around the corner, I have been knitting like a crazy person, trying to make gifts for all my nearest and dearest. The other day, I completed a project and admired it happily, congratulating myself on my accomplishment and looking forward to gifting it to its intended recipient.
It was in the midst of my examination that I realized it would be too small to fit the person I had made it for. The pattern was such that I couldn’t simply take out the finishing stitches and make it bigger. I had to start over from the very beginning.
“Back to square one,” I muttered to myself, feeling discouraged and annoyed with myself for messing up. I was sorely tempted in that moment to turn the project into a projectile. Then I drew a deep breath and reminded myself of a truth that God has been impressing on me: there is no such thing as square one.
Sure, I had to start from the beginning, but I was now familiar with the pattern and could make it better than it had been the first time, not only in terms of size, but appearance as well. I knew what I had to do to make it work and this time I had the knowledge and experience I needed to pull it off.
The same thing happens to me in my spiritual walk. I seem to be doing just fine then I lose my temper, doubt God’s goodness, or have a fight with someone and I’m left looking at my life thinking, “Back to square one.”
But the truth is, there is no more ‘square one’ for me because I will never be that same person again. I could backslide for miles and never reach my original starting point. I have gained so much on my journey so far. I’ve enjoyed my fair share of failures and successes and I’ve learned a ton .God has taught me lessons through my experiences that I have been able to apply all over my life.
God has picked me up so many times that I’m starting to trust that He will always pick me up. He’s let me try things on my own so many times that I’m starting to know and accept that His ways are best.
My failings in the past have taught me invaluable lessens on things like God’s love and grace for me, the importance of forgiveness, perseverance, trust, etc. I know I would not be where I am today without a few of those back steps.
So whenever I mess up and I’m tempted to despair at the thought of ‘starting over,’ I take a deep breath and remember how far I’ve come. I try to take every setback and failure as an opportunity to learn and grow. As with my knitting project, I know it will be even better the next time around because I’ve come a long way and by the grace of God, I’m going to keep going even further.