Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Backspace Button

My backspace key has stopped working on my keyboard this morning.  It is very weird.  AND very annoying. Everything else works just fine, but I cannot back up.  So, every time I have a typo, I have to cursor over and hit the delete key.  Amazingly, I thought I was an excellent typist.     However, with this new development, I have discovered that I rely very heavily on the backspace key.   In fact, I tried to backspace 3 times in typing the last sentence alone.  I can’t keep my train of thought when I’m typing.  AND, knowing that I cannot backspace just makes me make more mistakes.  How weird is that?

So… of course, this made me start thinking about how this relates to life.  No backing up… no looking back… what does this mean?   There’s an old saying “ You can’t see where you’re going, if you’re looking at where you’ve been.”   True, we need to focus forward.  But, being able to back up a little bit and make a correction would be wonderful.  What if life had a backspace button?  What if every time you said something wrong, or did something wrong, you could backup and redo it?   When you accidentally told your spouse that they looked like they were getting fat, you could hit the backspace button and rephrase it.  Many a relationship could be saved by a backspace button.  Or if your kid did something stupid and you laughed when you were supposed to show concern, you could hit the backspace button and show the proper emotion ( then you could laugh without their knowledge when you retold the story to ALL your friends!)    Wow, life would be great with a backspace button!   Just being able to back up and act like nothing ever happened would be very cool.  

But, thinking some more… how slack would I be if I could just back up and retry every time I made a big mistake?   Would I ever learn anything?  I tend to the type of person that learns a whole lot more from my mistakes than I do from my victories.  And, I tend to look at each mistake as an opportunity to move forward with a little more knowledge.  And… I’m not really all that good at going backwards.  (Emotionally or physically).  
It is a known fact that I CANNOT back up my car to save my life.  I am the worst backer upper I know.  If you see me move the gearshift to R, then get the HECK OUT OF DODGE because it is dangerous.   In my defense, I have a small SUV and cannot see anything out the back that is lower than about 3 feet.  The side mirrors work fine, but I still have a blind spot right in the back.  I NEED a BACKUP camera or a backup alarm, and I have several dead mailboxes and a ding in my daughter’s FRONT bumper to prove it!    Knowing that I can’t  back up has added some stress to my life, but it has also made me concentrate harder, slow down, pay more attention and try to get it right the first time.   So, if life would just give me a back up alarm to warn me (and everyone else)  every time I was moving backwards, that would be great too.    

But, life doesn’t really give you backspace buttons or back up alarms or rewind buttons.  You’re kind of stuck with all the dumb things you do and say.  However,  we do have a replay button!  We can go back and replay all the special times in our lives and enjoy them as many times as we want in our head.  And women are equipped with a special DVR type recall button that lets them replay every mistake their husband ever made (and what she was wearing when it happened!) 

While we can’t always backspace and retry, we can be the kind of people that let other people have that second chance.  What if, every time someone you knew (or didn’t know) was allowed to “backspace” and try again when they messed up?  How peaceful would your life be if you allowed someone to backup and retry and TRULY know that all was forgiven AND forgotten?    WOW!  God shows us that Mercy, but do we do the same for others?   Well… maybe we should fix our backspace key and let others use it!  If  we can use the replay button, surely we can use that backspace button too!

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