Last night I had a similar situation. I've been cutting my guys' hair for over a year now, with really no mishaps to date. David's style has taken a little longer to perfect than the boys', but we finally have our system in place. He reminded me around 9:30 last night that I had promised to cut his hair. I groaned....I was so tired, and I had a splitting headache....but I headed to the bathroom and got out the clippers and the three attachments that we use. I laid them out on the counter in the order that I would need them. As David sat down, I grabbed the clippers and took the first big swipe up the right side of his head.....and immediately realized that I'd forgotten to put the #6 attachment on. Ugh. I felt exactly the same way that I had 16 years ago when the computer shut off. That instantaneous horror and the fervent wishing that there was some way to get the last few seconds back.
Maybe it's not so bad. Maybe there is some way out where nobody has to notice that I really made a mistake. Maybe, just maybe, I can change everything else around the problem and nobody will notice what I did.
Nope. Well... maybe, just maybe I can cover it up so that nobody notices
This just isn't working. Maybe the only thing I can do is expose the problem for all to see, acknowledge that it was my fault, and trust that things will grow back right.
(Thankfully, I have an awesome husband who really doesn't care what anyone else thinks about him or his hair, and has mostly tried to make me laugh about all of this.)
The last 24 hours have got me thinking about sin. Sometimes we're tired. Sometimes we're doing things we don't want to do at times we don't want to do them. Sometimes the demands others place on our time is more than we can handle. Sometimes losing focus for a second can result in unimaginably difficult consequences.
Worse yet, some things don't get fixed automatically by time. There are areas in my life where I need to pull back and think hard about the consequences. I am a perfectionist by nature....which can lead me to be overly critical about a good many things. I can usually put on a decent front for people and hide the sarcastic, withering, reproachful side of my personality inside where the public doesn't see it. My family, though, gets the real deal. I'm with my kids all day long, and on the days when school isn't going so well, or the boys aren't focused enough, or their room looks like a toy factory exploded, I can be WAY too harsh. Words can hurt, and time alone isn't going to heal those wounds.
So after we've messed up.... what now? Are we going to pretend nothing is wrong? Are we going to tidy up the rest of our lives and hope that nobody notices? Are we going to hide the mess so nobody else sees it? The thing is....they DO notice....and so does God. The only way to put things right again is to own what we've done and repent. Sometimes that means rooting out the weeds that have been planted and starting over completely with a blank slate.
Otherwise, the only one that we're fooling is ourself.
"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." I John 1:9