If Life was Only Like an Etch A Sketch

When I was a kid, one of my favorite toys, besides my army men, was my “Etch A Sketch.” You remember, the toy in the red box with the silver screen and two white knobs. You could almost draw anything with the “Etch A Sketch.” I could play for hours with the toy. Over time, I could draw houses, circles, my name, and mountains or hills. 

What I liked best about the “Etch A Sketch” was that if I made a mistake, I could shake it and start over. I had a clean slate; fresh and brand-new, with no evidence of my past mistakes. It would be neat if life was like that “Etch A Sketch.” We could start over and totally erase our mistakes. Here are some of the things I would erase: 

Erase past failures. I would erase past failures and the times I really messed up: the ideas or projects that never got off the ground; the times I said things and should have kept my mouth shut; the hurt feelings I caused; the things I said to my parents as a teenager, that I know, now, were really stupid. I would keep the lessons learned, but not the failures. 

Erase past feelings. I would erase hard feelings toward other people. Bitter feelings and emotions drain the good in us. Negative feelings are destructive. Forgiveness frees the emotions. My wife repeatedly says, “There are so many positive things to do, why focus on the negative?” 

Erase self-centeredness. I would erase the times I made it “all about me.” It is not about us individually. I would “shake out” all those times I did not give freely and without conditions. I would invest more in people – quicker and more freely. I would want to invest quality time and emotions with friends. 

Erase past acquaintances. I would erase people from my past who dragged me down with their negative attitudes and outlooks. I would erase people who never encouraged my heart. I look back and wonder why these people were my friends. 

Erase past success. I know that sounds strange. Proverbs tells us, “The seeds of our destruction are sown in our success.” How many people have won a battle, only to lose focus and attention and then lose the war. We grow complacent and unresponsive with success. We fail to compete and grow lazy. I would erase past success and keep the drive to succeed. 

We all would like to erase something in our past. Each new day offers us a new beginning and an opportunity to change. 

Better, Stronger, Together