“All of the answers on your math homework are wrong. You’ll need to do them over again," my fourth-grade teacher admonished.
I slumped in my chair. Unfortunately, staying after school to work on math had become a daily occurrence. To say I disliked math was an understatement.
Eventually, my stay-after-school days ceased, but one thing didn't cease. I still got problems wrong--life problems. You know how it is? Struggle to keep up with it all, do you best not to err and get it right. But sometimes, what we think is right, is wrong. Then we're frustrated when we have to go back and do things over again.
But, alas, let us look at another perspective to this dilemma. We may balk at the number of do-over's it takes to make something right. But, imagine Thomas Edison's frustration at the 10,000 attempts it took to make the light bulb work. Where would we be if he had given up, succumbed to failure? But he persevered and his “again and again” attempts paid off.
Now, here's a twist. If we pull apart the word, "again," and make it into two words, it becomes “a gain.”
So, if we don't give up and learn from our failures, we will have gained and not lost.
I wished I’d realized this as a youngster. But, years later I faced my fear of math when I applied to nursing school. "You'll have to pass a math entry exam," the nursing advisor said. Determined to succeed, I spent weeks studying, but happily passed the exam and was accepted into the program.
Life poses different struggles for each of us. What is an “again” struggle for you, and how have you—or will you—work toward a “gain” because of it?
May you tackle your “again” moments and discover the “gain” therein!
“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” – Galatians 6:9
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