“In God’s economy, nothing is wasted.”
~Bill Wilson

I watched my dog, Shakespeare, run on the beach, propelled by some invisible inner joy. He ran in large figure eights until he tired and laid down at my feet, panting heavily. He looked up at me with eyes so bright, I couldn’t help but smile at him. I knelt down and stroked his head. In a few minutes, he got back up, ready to explore the seaweed strewn up on shore. We walked north, me plodding in the heavy sand, Shakespeare darting from one exciting discovery to the next. I couldn’t help but note the differences in our demeanor. I was preoccupied with my thoughts of a past mistake. He was free, unencumbered by the past.

I ruminated about a decision I had made as we walked. The outcome had not been favorable as I had thought it would be. The weight of it, the embarrassment of it, pressed heavy on my heart. A seagull flew low to the ground as if playing tag with Shakespeare. I thought to myself; God sure created a wonderful world. As the two of them moved in tandem together, I realized that in God’s creation there was room for my imperfection, my mistakes.

God uses our mistakes to show us valuable lessons. We can learn humility and gain wisdom from our mistakes. I’m giving my mistake to you, God. Use it to help me grow, I thought. With each step, my heart grew lighter. As I focused on the here and now, the weight of the past lifted, and I found myself running to catch up with Shakespeare who had stopped to sniff a piece of driftwood. The gull circled above us then flew out over the sea. I watched its wings move gracefully against the breeze. Shakespeare looked up at me and I swear he seemed to know something had shifted inside of me. “I gave God my mistake. I’m okay now,” I said. “Come on, let’s walk a little bit more.” That’s all he needed to hear. He took off running, his tongue hanging out of his mouth and his eyes bright with joy. I knew just how he felt!

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