I am a sucker for young adult fiction novels. I read one recently where the main character said something totally thoughtless and stupid to this girl he loved.
He was kicking himself for the hurtful comment and wished desperately he had fallen out of heaven with some sort of “do-over card” that he could use in that very moment. He’d rewind those 30 seconds, obviously say the right thing, and their relationship would continue moving upward. But no.
As I read that, I was screaming in my mind, “That is exactly what the Atonement of Jesus Christ is all about!!!” Except, because of the Savior, we fall from heaven with infinite do-over cards.
The reason I am thinking about the do-over card right now is because, well, I need one for this day. I woke up this morning from a few hours of low quality sleep. My head was pounding. My baby was screaming. The thought of facing the day just felt so impossible, so I pulled the covers over my head and told my husband I needed to be unconscious for a few hours before I could even bring myself to try.
By the time I finally forced myself to get out of bed, I felt I had wasted the entire morning. I went downstairs to an Everest of dishes in the sink, unsorted piles of laundry, an overflowing trash can, and an obstacle course of toys.
The overwhelming tasks before me triggered frustration. I neglected to thank my husband for feeding and bathing our son while I slept, and saw him off to work with hard feelings between us. I impatiently addressed my son’s fussiness, ate everything in my sight, and mostly just wasted a few more hours being mad at myself (and the world).
I sometimes tell myself on those crappy days that I just need a new day. I need a fresh start. I need the sun to set on this one horrible day,
and for the sunrise to usher in a new, hopefully better one. I’m so grateful that Heavenly Father has divided time into night and day, darkness and light. I love the symbolism behind that.
I had somewhat of an epiphany though: I don’t have to wait for tomorrow to come! I can have my do-over right this very second.
My favorite German man of all time (I.e. Elder Uchtdorf) said:
“God will take you as you are at this very moment and begin to work with you. All you need is a willing heart, a desire to believe, and trust in the Lord.”
I choose to embrace these words. It is about 14 minutes to 3 PM, and I have every intention of wrapping this up before then, getting off the couch, finally brushing my teeth, and saying a meaningful prayer. Then I’ll take my son to do something extraordinarily fun. I’ll send my husband a text of gratitude for putting up with me today. I’ll finally deliver that baby gift to my neighbor. I’ll brave the aisles of Walmart so that we no longer have to eat cereal for every meal. And heck, I might even exercise for the first time in forever. Most importantly, I’ll make Christ the center of my life for the rest of the day even though, so far, I’ve made myself the center of my life.
Because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, here I am at 2:57 redeeming yet another one of my do-over cards. I don’t have to wait for a literal sunrise to start over. “Today” begins at 3 PM.
So, if you’re having a day like mine, or if one comes in the near future, remember that you can start over RIGHT NOW by hitting that metaphorical reset button. Even if your bedtime is 60 minutes away, make that last waking hour of yours something stellar.