Thursday, June 9, 2011

Thoughtful About . . . Second Chances

How many times in life do we get do-overs? Do we get to fix the things we've done wrong and make them better? How many times do we have the chance to rebuild, to repair, to refine before anyone sees our first attempt?

I know there are many times I wish we could do this more. Wish we could un-say, un-watch, un-hear something. Times I wish we could tweak a few details of ourselves, of our decisions, of our pasts to make things just a little better, a little more considerate, a little more lovely.

The other day I got my first round of edits on Love Finds You in Annapolis, Maryland, and as I read through the comments of my awesome editor, I find myself thinking, "Thank you, Lord, for the chance to improve this." The story certainly has its merits, the writing's mostly solid . . . but thank heavens I get to incorporate the advice of a team before it hits the shelves. Thank you, God, for letting me alter a few things. Tighten here, shift there, add, delete, reword.

And yet as I add a new dimension to my heroine's relationship with her family, as I open her eyes a little more to the realities of her world, it makes me realize that in life, it's not usually so simple. It's not just a matter of hitting the backspace key a few times. We can never hit Edit / Undo. We can't make our inconsistencies just go away with a few keystrokes, a few thoughts. Three weeks of work doesn't make any of us ready for the world to view us (even taking into account the need yet for polish and shine).

But you know what? We've still got our second chance. We can never undo, we can never erase. We'll always have to deal with consequences for our words and actions. But we have that blank page waiting. A clean slate. A chance to start anew. We have a Savior who can cover our blemishes with His perfection. Will others still notice the flaws? Oh, they're good at that--just like I'm sure someone will always find the errors in my books and call me on them.

But just like it's a huge blessing to have an editor, and the chance to edit, so is it an amazing thought to consider that in life we have a Savior, and the chance to be cleansed of our sin. And just as now that I know what she's looking for I'll be sure to incorporate as much as I can of it into each new work, so do we fashion ourselves after what the Lord wants once we've accepted His precious grace.

I hope everyone is having a great week!

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