Making mistakes. It is part of the Plan. We were sent here knowing we would make and learn from them. Sometimes a painful process, but necessary for our eternal growth.
It’s one thing to mess up privately. But sometimes those mistakes are on public display.
It was a busy holiday weekend. A perfect opportunity to gather up the kids and brave the crowds at the popular outdoor outlet mall in Park City, Utah.
Sales and more sales. We pushed strollers and scurried the children along as we walked from store to store. Banana Republic caught our attention. The kids chased each other around the store as the adults took turns in the dressing room.
In a split second it became too quiet. Who was missing?
Three-year-old Quinn had wandered away.
We searched the store. He was nowhere to be found.
His mother ran out of the store and down the sidewalk frantically looking for any sign of Quinn. Did he leave the store? Or worse – did someone take him? She fought the panic.
Divide and conquer. We split up to find him. Looking behind every clothes rack. Quinn couldn’t have gone far.
After searching the stores on either side, his mother turned around and quickly ran back toward Banana Republic. She noticed a gathering of people. Cars screeching to a stop. Japanese tourists jumping out to take pictures.
What could possibly stop traffic?
Then the sight. Utter disbelief.
Inside the store-front window next to the mannequins was a much smaller figure.
Quinn. Naked from the waist down.
You see it was a new and exciting time in Quinn’s life. Potty training. In all his glory, Quinn made a decision to let the world see his new-found talent.
It had been several days since the last episode. And the solid result was of epic proportion.
Proud of his accomplishment, Quinn looked over at the mannequins and struck a similar pose. Flashbulbs going off as cameras caught the action like a red carpet event.
A mistake. One that will be remembered and told at the Tucker Thanksgiving table for years to come. And perhaps other family gatherings overseas as they review vacation footage.
Quinn learned about cleaning up his mistake that day. His mother knelt beside him and made sure he understood the consequence as they worked together. But Quinn also learned that tomorrow is a brand new day.
A day to begin again. A day to carry on.
Certainly there are those more serious than a mess in a store front window. Mistakes that have serious consequences. Mistakes requiring amends to be made. To those we have hurt and to Him.
Sometimes our mistakes are private. And sometimes others observe. In both cases we must reach up. Commit to do better.
During the process we change. Our hearts become soft. Humility enters the soul. And in this process we become better. We become more like Him.
It really is a beautiful Plan. We are all in this together. Every imperfect one of us. Over and over the pattern will present itself. When no one knows. Or when the world is looking in.
Quinn learned from his mistake. There will be more messes. For him. For us.
It's okay. Sometimes life stinks.
Clean it up and carry on.