Yesterday I made myself a nice salad for lunch. Mixed greens, honey roasted chicken, shredded cheese, bell peppers and a homemade balsamic dressing. I was really excited to savor it, to taste its goodness. I grabbed an empty glass to pour myself a glass of water and set it down next to my salad. Then I took the britta filter and started to pour out the clear refreshing water… INTO MY SALAD. Crap! I can’t believe I did that! I cringed internally. Why am I so dumb? I quickly corrected my mistake and poured into the right container, then I ate my soggy salad.
Have you ever beat yourself up over making a mistake? Maybe it was a big one, maybe it was a little one… Me too. Frequently in fact, and I am just starting to get some sense that perhaps there is a better way to respond than my typical internal beat down.
I believe that Jesus died for my sins and rose from the dead and because of that I am covered by His grace. But that fact always seems to feel pretty hard to grasp right after I have made some kind of mistake. There is new research that suggests how we respond with our bodies (a deep bow with a goofy grin vs. cringing or curling up into a ball) will affect how we feel in our minds. Its called the failure bow.
So next time we make mistakes, lets celebrate them with a bow.
I invite my students to come up in front of the group one at a time, root themselves firmly on stage with a good, wide, athletic stance and a playful smile. Each movement from there will get its own bold assertion.
1) Extending the right arm out in a bold sweep: I took a risk!
2) Extending the left arm in similar fashion: I messed up!
3) Bringing their fingers to the chest: I’m still here!
4) Flinging both arms out and raising them triumphantly to the sky: Let’s learn!
And, of course, we’ll respond with wild applause.
For all of the mistakes you have learned from in the course of your life, I applaud you.