When Mistakes are a Blessing
- Fidelis C. Odogbo
An old carpenter once went off to build some crates for the clothes that his group was sending to an orphanage in China. On his way home, he reached into his shirt pocket to find his pair of glasses, but it was gone.
He frantically tried to remember where he misplaced it. He had spent 20 dollars to get the pair of glasses that very morning. As he mentally replayed each activity, he realized that the glasses had slipped out of his pocket unnoticed and fallen into one of the crates which he had nailed shut. His brand new glasses were on its way to China! The Great Depression was at its height, and he had six children to care for. He was upset by the thought of having to buy another pair, and wondered why he hadn’t been more careful. "It's not fair," he told God as he drove home in frustration. "I've been very faithful in giving my time and money to your work, and now this!"
Several months later, the Director of the orphanage took a vacation to the United States. He wanted to visit all the groups that had supported him in China. One Sunday he came to speak to a small group in Chicago. He began by thanking the people for their faithfulness in supporting the orphanage. "But most of all," he said, "I must thank you for the glasses you sent last year. You see, enemy soldiers had just swept through the orphanage, destroying everything, including my pair of glasses. When that happened, I was desperate. Even if I had the money, there was simply no way of replacing those glasses. I couldn’t see well, and I experienced headaches every day, so my co-workers and I were much in prayer about this. Then your crates arrived. When my staff removed the covers, they found a pair of glasses lying on top….” The missionary paused long enough to let his words sink in. He smiled and shook his head with the wonder of it all. "Folks, when I tried on those glasses, they felt like they had been custom-made just for me! I want to thank you for being a part of that."
The people listened, happy for the miraculous glasses. But he surely must have confused their group with another, they thought, for there were no glasses on their list of items sent overseas. But sitting quietly in the back, tears streaming down his face, the old carpenter realized the Master Carpenter had used him in an extraordinary way.
What would life have been if mistakes held only disaster, and failures were the end of the road? Thank God, our mistakes can have a tremendous, life-changing impact, and bring us blessings beyond measure! Michelangelo, one of the greatest artists that lived, once said that the painting of The Lord's Supper, which earned him fame, was a result of big deviation from his original design. He said the artistic display that embellished The Lord's Supper was a mistake. The outcome was never part of his plan!
Though we may not be able to change events that have already happened, we can choose to discover the living seeds of benefit planted within each one. We can watch patiently for these seeds to sprout and adorn the future with magnificent blossoms. Mistakes can test our resolve and commitment. They can point us in the proper direction. They can also strengthen our discipline and courage. Instead of being landmarks of regret, mistakes can open up new doors that will reveal a path around seemingly unmovable mountains. Back in those days when I was in elementary school, my teacher would often say, “Mistakes are proofs that you're making progress in your studies, because it allows you to see your weakness in areas that need improvement."
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Fidelis Odogbo is a freelance writer. A motivational and inspirational speaker, a child/youth worker and a counselor on life matters. He is a preacher/teacher of God’s word and has over the years authored several articles on the Qatar Daily English Newspaper- ‘The Peninsula’. He is a Nigerian and currently live and work in Qatar.