Few people of this generation have escaped the frustration that accompanies internet use. Without fail, problems arise and “connection” to the wide world of possibility is lost. The frustration, however, does not end there. Calling your beloved internet service provider does not always provide the solutions you seek, and you will likely begin a guided protocol of checks, starting with the most basic – the power supply. I cannot tell you how many times I have called my ISP to hear them ask me if my modem/router is plugged in. I may not be the most tech savvy person on the block, but I do know enough to determine whether or not my equipment has access to electricity without the aid of an internet technician. Perhaps this is often the first line of inquiry because of the vital importance of power. Without it, even the most state-of-the-art equipment is useless. The second stage of troubleshooting is just as rudimentary and every bit as significant as the first – the reset button. Who knew how effective a simple reboot could be for regaining access to opportunity! Applying the notion of a “reset” to life’s connection issues is no less powerful.
Life doesn’t always work the way we want it to or the way we think it should. Plans don’t always come to fruition, strategies sometimes fail, and goals aren’t always accomplished. Looking in the rearview mirror at the last twelve months, we might see things we regret or wish we had done differently. The beauty of a New Year is that we automatically get a new start. It’s like a yearly, built-in “reset” for life. January 1st allows us to start over on reading plans, wellness strategies, and savings goals; there are endless possibilities! Even those of us who struggle with change can embrace what January represents. While this automatic restart might provide some initial momentum for changing our overall trajectory, yearly reboots lack the power and immediacy needed to move past the ruts we get stuck in on a more regular basis. For those moment-to-moment rough patches, hang-ups, squabbles, and hiccups, we need the opportunity to enact an immediate do-over. We need the ability to press “reset” on the moment and redeem, or “buy back”, what was lost.
I remember one morning, years ago, really struggling to get my kids out the door for school. Memory fails me regarding the exact source of contention, but I recall lecturing my kids during the entire one mile drive to the elementary school. As I pulled up to the drop-off line, both of my children were crying. Not a proud mom moment, I assure you. When I realized how ineffective and inappropriate my response to their foible had been, I knew I could not drop them off in such distress. Instead of going through the drop-off line as usual, I pulled into a parking space and calmly apologized for my reaction. While not letting them completely off the hook, I explained that we would address the issue at a more appropriate time. And then I had them imagine a big red “reset” button on the minivan console. I explained that hitting reset meant that we could start our morning over, say and do the things we wish we would have said and done earlier, and proceed to our respective daily responsibilities feeling empowered to make wiser decisions. We each, in turn, pressed this imaginary button and smiled and laughed at the silliness of it. But it worked. As I walked them to the front of their school, we were able to have the morning good-byes that we would have had on any quarrel-free morning. We were able to redeem what would have been otherwise lost: the power of the “reset”.
So often we are tempted to believe that our failures are terminal and mistakes make success impossible, so we quit almost as soon as we get started. But Scripture gives us a different paradigm – a narrative in which the imperfect is redeemed and thus made right. Character after character in the bible are given the opportunity for a do-over: Abraham, Noah, Moses, David, Peter, Paul…the list goes on and on. From Genesis to Revelation, God writes the Story of Redemption found only in the Incarnate. In the person of Christ, we have both the power and the grace to press “reset”.
A “reset” might be helpful when you…
Miss a workout
Drop the ball on a project or responsibility
Fudge on your plan to eat healthy
Lose your temper
Blow your budget one week
Score poorly on a test
Say something hurtful to a loved one
Get behind on your Bible reading plan
Recognize a moral failure
Miss a deadline
Let a friend down
Giving yourself a “reset” does not mean you are justifying sin or rationalizing poor choices; it just means that you are choosing not to live there. A “reset” facilitates a shift from all-or-nothing thinking to more moderate stance and can be a powerful way of appropriating God’s grace and letting yourself off the hook for not being perfect. Do-overs can empower you to move forward while embracing the struggle toward success.
Sometimes, however, the stuff of life can be too overwhelming for a simple “reset”. Wounds caused by others or difficult, unchanging circumstances can leave us feeling powerless. In these situations, it can be helpful to have an unbiased guide to help you navigate your way to greater freedom. If you think you would benefit from having a Christian counselor help you determine what a "reset" might look like for you, please call or email us today.