What is the best mistake you have ever made?
I can’t remember being asked a question like that before yesterday, so when it came it caught me by surprise. I mean…it almost sounds like a contradiction ~ a good mistake? Often times we want to put mistakes in our rear view mirror as quickly as possible and move on. I have heard it said that we shouldn’t dwell on our mistakes. I HAVE been told to learn from them but I have never really looked back and pondered what my “best mistake” was.
When I was asked that question I paused; looked off into the distance as if I would find something out there, and tried to recall some past mistakes. Recalling mistakes was not the hard part, but trying to prioritize the “good ones” was difficult. Maybe I have moved on too fast from mistakes without soaking in what I learned. Maybe I have not connected certain learnings, skills or knowledge with past mistakes. I am not sure what it was. After what I deemed an uncomfortable silence I started talking about a conflict I was involved with, early in my ministry, that involved a break down in communication. I rehashed the situation briefly and began to recall what I did wrong. I learned through that particular situation to be more aware of what various groups in the church are doing and to be more proactive in communicating with leaders in the congregation. I learned that I need to keep my emotions more in check and to exude a non-anxious presence during a conflict. At the time I did not enjoy the situation but I would say that was one of my “best mistakes”.
So…what is your best mistake?