I am a collector. After 44 years on earth, I have to admit that I am a collector. No, not the bone collector or debt collector. Neither am I a rare stamp collector, an antique collector nor a figurine collector. No, definitely not those kinds or types.
I am actually a collector of life's blunders. I am a blooper keeper. I am a snafu harvester. I am a boo-boo reaper. A mistakes collector. A slip-of-the-tongue, slip-of-the-mind defaulter. If years mark the ageing process and love follows a marital oath, then misses, lapses and gaffes shadow my life. For every shadow of error that blights me, I am comforted that a light of learning is not far away. Yet, it is the flaws that are my building blocks of learning and they will be my loyal companion for the rest of my days on earth.
Mistakes often come at the heels of delusional invulnerability and I am quietly assured by life that I have an endless supply of the former (mistakes) at the persistent flourishing of the latter (self-perceived invulnerability). Humility is a strange game. It is most abundant when you have made it in life - so you think. Humility overflows when pride is enthroned and that is strange. This humility is almost conspiratorial in nature. It is like a magician's wand that conjures up the illusion of substance but alas, like a fool's gold, it is merely an appearance of form and not of substance.
Pride-bolstered humbleness is the flip-side of arrogance and its symmetry is projected humility. Like a spinning coin, you only see what you want others to see and as both sides converge into one face, what is shown is the flashy smile of humility, which hides the desperate scowl of pride.
But then, I have digressed. I have sidetracked with apology. I will leave it to you to make what you wilt of the paradoxical interchangeability of pride and humility. But the fact still remains that I am a collector. A collector of flops, missteps and misjudgments.
If arraigned in the court of life as an accused of such things, I am helpless and hapless to defend myself. I will be screwed many times over. It will be better if I just jump bail and remain a fugitive for life. I don't stand a chance. And I don't expect my prosecutorial team to have a tough time looking for evidence of the many faux pas throughout my living years. My past is an indictment enough to put me away in the future for good.
This is a cut-and-dried case where I am guilty even before the ink on the charge sheet dries and you can dispense with that patronizing presumption of innocence. Here's the evidence and supporting exhibits all decked out in court.
In life, I have failed many times. Mistakes follow me like dirt follows scum and poop follows fart. As a husband, my errors are aplenty. I am impatient, cocky and grumpy. As a parent, my faults abound like swarm. I am dismissive, short-tempered and apathetic. As a friend? Well, I am judgmental and self-centered. And as a Christian, I think you do not want to go there. My sins numbered the stars in a cloudless nocturnal sky. The list is almost endless under the preamble "hypocrisy". I am therefore serving a life-sentence of my sins of commission and omissions with no chance of a parole (not in this life at least).
But then, here's my hope, here's my falling-forward. I am no doubt a collector and am still collecting. My collection however is a collection not only of mistakes but of betterment and improvement and every two-step backward advances me three-step forward. I strive to be what I am called to be and that is, to be the best that I can be. And if every morning, the sun rises not suddenly and abruptly but gradually and incrementally, then my life will unfold as such - slow and steady, dilatory but surely, and ponderous but firmly.
I guess the challenge of my life is not to be a fugitive from making mistakes but to seek consciously and resiliently to learn from the errors of my ways. And if life and living is a learning process, then I have to appreciate that my mistakes, whether past, present or future, are gift of seeds planted in the soil of maturity to remind me that I am only human as I patiently wait for the blooming of enriching experiences. Cheerz.