Last night I broke off the driver side mirror on my car. I was heartsick because I knew I had caused myself completely unnecessary trouble and expense.
With ice covering the ground, I had backed my car out of the driveway while holding a heavy container through the window. What I didn’t expect was that the bottom of that container would hit the hump of ice deposited at the entrance to the driveway by the municipal snowplow.
I had cleared away enough of the ice to get my car safely over the hump. But I didn’t anticipate that the container I was holding through the window would strike that hump and be knocked toward the front of the car.
That’s what happened, though, and in an instant the container slammed against my mirror assembly, and snapped it right off.
For a moment I sat there in stunned disbelief. A minute ago my car was entirely whole and in good running condition. Now, after just one careless moment, I found myself facing perhaps hundreds of dollars in repairs, not to mention all the inconvenience and loss of time it would take to restore my car to the condition it had been in just a few moments earlier.
A palpable sense of regret began settling in on my mind. But then, hard on the hills of regret, Scripture started inserting itself into my thoughts.
James 1:2-4 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
Immediately, I was confronted with the question: do I believe these things or not?
My answer was and is emphatically, yes! And so now I had to make a choice which direction I would allow my mind to go in. Go with the flow of the depressing feeling of regret that was the natural reaction to my own stupidity? Or take hold of the promises of God and rejoice in spite of my trial?
I’ve decided to rejoice!
Yes, I made a stupid mistake that caused totally unnecessary damage to my car. And, yes I might have to pay who knows how much to repair that totally unnecessary damage. And yes, it will cause me to devote precious time to undoing the totally unnecessary damage I caused myself by my own carelessness. And yes, all those “totally unnecessaries” are fertile ground for feelings of depression and regret!
But I choose to not allow regret to overwhelm me. I chose, instead, to rejoice in the Lord because He has promised that He will somehow bring good out of my careless and stupid actions.
Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!
And “always” means even when you break your car’s mirror by your own stupidity!