Making Mistakes

If you live long enough you finally begin to admit that every once in a while you make a mistake. Even as perfect as Ol' Dutch is, mistakes do occur.

Politicians handle these mistakes by saying they “mis-spoke” and somehow that's okay and not a real whopper.

Personally, I would much rather they say, “Boy, did I ever goof up.” I can forgive that kind of honestly because, let’s face it, we all pull some real boners every so often.

Back in one of my previous lives, I worked for the railroad. Everything there is large and heavy and when mistakes are made, real messes occur. I can recall a lot of incidents down through the years where “oopsie daisy” was just not sufficient language to explain railroad cars scattered across the rail and hell’s half acre.

I was thinking recently about people and mistakes that are made in other types of work.

Now, before you make some nasty comment about Ol’ Dutch thinking, let me tell you that Trixie has already beaten you to it.

What she doesn’t realize is that Ol’ Dutch here has a few more years of thinking under my skull cap than she does and I tend to believe that gives me an advantage when it comes to brain work. She, on the other hand, is convinced that I have blown a circuit up there somewhere due to the advance age of my head gasket.

Anyway, back to my thinking about mistakes people make. You take a plumber working on a house. He makes a mistake and you can have a leak and cause a lot of damage but it’s repairable.

Or an electrician. They can wire a building and make a mistake and there is no electricity to the outlet. Worst case they cause a fire and the entire facility goes up in smoke but still, it’s not the end of the world.

Across most jobs that people have that are clerical, mechanical, teaching, farming or manufacturing, generally speaking, mistakes can be rectified. Some, like the railroad, can cost a lot of money to repair but it’s not the end of the world.

Since this came to me while deep in thought Sunday morning – or, at least sitting under an aspen while elk hunting -- I got to thinking about church.

As most of you know by now Ol' Dutch has been wrangled into singing in the local church choir and so spends an inordinate amount of time gracing those doors. Well maybe not inordinate but in-or-enough time.

I’ve listened to loads of preachers warble on and on about how we all need to do better for ourselves and the people around us. Have you ever considered that preachers are subject to making mistakes in their jobs, too?

Of course some religions and denominations have leaders whom they declare infallible and that keeps them from messing up as anything they do is “right.” Now that would be some mighty handy superpower to have around when Trixie and I argue, but I digress.

The churches I attend, though, don’t cater to such beliefs and that’s when I started worrying about preachers making mistakes.

Like I said, in most jobs, a mistake is fixable, even though it may feel like you’re going through hell to get there. In this guy’s line of work, though, a person can actually go to hell if mistakes are made.

Talk about pressure.

So, the next time you find yourself up a crick without a paddle, sold down the river or simply have forgotten someone's birthday, remember you can at least fix those problems without eternal damnation. Count yourself lucky.

As for me, I’m off to find one of them infallible guru fellows to imbue me with the “always right” superpower so I’m guaranteed sweet nirvana in the afterlife and domestic tranquility in this one.