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Happy Little Accident

Recently, on one of our Mommy and Daughter nights, I decided to introduce my daughter Soraya to an old favorite TV show of mine. Netflix now has Bob Ross: Beauty is Everywhere available for streaming. Watching the show reminded me of one of my favorite Bob Ross quotes that he repeated often while painting: “We don't make mistakes, just happy little accidents.” I thought, “What a great reminder for the new year.”

I pray 2019 has been transformative for you so far! I’ve mentioned on my other platforms that for me, 2019 represents the year of leveling up in every aspect: spiritually, mentally, emotionally, physically, relationally, financially, and vocationally. If I’ve learned anything over the years, it’s this: we cannot level up if we’re caught up in the fear of making mistakes and the suffering that comes with it, whether it was done on our part or someone else’s. It’s par for the course! Taking a leap of faith and choosing not to focus on the detriment of a mistake, but instead focusing on how to turn that mistake into a “happy little accident” is essential to our level up.

The Webster-Merriam Dictionary defines a mistake as, “a wrong judgment” and as a “wrong action or statement proceeding from faulty judgment, inadequate knowledge, or inattention”. Take careful notice that I’m not referring to deliberate disobedience here when using the term “mistake”. Furthermore, an accident is defined as an “unforeseen and unplanned event or circumstance”. This does not automatically suggest a negative circumstance. It’s all about perception and finding the beauty everywhere, even in unforeseen circumstances to ensure they are turned into happy accidents.

It turns out that a “happy accident” is actually an idiom, defined by the Free Dictionary as “A mistake or unplanned event that results in a beneficial outcome or pleasant surprise.” An example given is: “The creation of penicillin was a happy accident that resulted from Alexander Fleming's discovery of mold growing in his agar plates.” Imagine if Fleming had chosen to focus on the detriment of the mold, rather than focusing on how a benefit could be drawn from this situation. We’d have no penicillin to treat many infections today, right?

The Bible gives us many examples of this as well. Take Joseph, for example, and how he was sold into slavery by his brothers, and then later thrown in jail because Potiphar’s wife wrongly accused Joseph of trying to seduce her. For most of us, this would have been more than enough to make us bitter and to pity ourselves. Instead, Joseph remained faithful, chose forgiveness, and used his God-given gift while in jail to decipher other prisoners’ dreams. It was his response to his suffering that turned his story into a “happy little accident”. God ended up making a way for Joseph to become the second most powerful man in all of Egypt next to Pharaoh, and used him to save his brothers and family.

As we set the stage for 2019 with our small group study of Rick Warren’s Transformed, understand that inadequate knowledge, faulty judgments, or inattention can potentially lead to a wrong action or statement while aiming to level up in the seven key areas: spiritual health, mental health, emotional health, physical health, relational health, financial health, and vocational health. However, do not be distracted by this or allow it to cause stagnation in this season. Focus instead on seeking God’s guidance through prayer and through His Word everyday in order to find the beneficial outcome in every circumstance. Level up first in your relationship with God and in the knowledge of His Word, and all other aspects of your life will be centered on that unshakable foundation where purpose will abound.

Sister, I encourage you to transform your canvas in this level up season to reflect the beauty of God’s unfailing love, amazing grace, and unmistakable purpose for your life!

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