#Write31Days – Oct 29 – Start Over

One of the classes I teach is typing, my students learning how to type by touch and have a cover over their keyboard.  The playing field in this class is leveled because it doesn’t matter your academic skill level, typing is a new skill majority of students don’t have other than typing to text and large percentage struggle through learning the keys. 

(In case you are wondering, like my students last year who asked “How did YOU learn to type?”…it was on a TYPEWRITER. The ancient old machine and God bless my typing teacher who called out letters to us and I can’t even imagine how she graded those papers. I can remember not paying attention and typing right off the right edge of the page on more than one occasion though.)

One day I’m going to have an antique like this in my house…

I have a couple of students who try to be “creative” with how they get around using their covers and think I’m not watching or won’t see that they are essentially cheating and looking while typing. My students work through lessons in a course and each lesson has a test to move to the next one. One student just asks what everyone else is thinking though “Can I take off my cover for the test, it will be easier.” 

A lot of students will get started on the typing test and if they require more than one try to pass the test, they will repeatedly start the test over.  They make a few errors in the first line and close out, re-start the test and some will do that more than a handful of times. I talk to them about working through, continuing to type, mistakes will even out and words per minute will improve, but you can’t always restart over and over again. It is a psychological war for most, I tell them the persevere through and type to the end of the time, between 2 and 5 minutes. 

Isn’t that how we often approach life. We are drilled how much first impressions count, and if we feel we’ve messed that up we want a re-do, a chance to prove that maybe isn’t who we really are.  When situations get sticky, when we make a bad choice, when we hurt someone’s feelings, when we  _____________________________ we want to start over.  Take it back. Erase that. 

But, we can’t. 

Much like my students, it’s more than a typing lesson, it is a life lesson.  Learning to persevere through mistakes, figure out how to keep going and improve going forward.  Most of the time, the damage isn’t so bad.  It’s just that it would be easier to start over, but there are consequences to choices we make. They aren’t always bad, it just is reality.  

Instead, we have to learn to just move forward. 

The mistakes we make, the lessons we learn and the perseverance through when it is hard, builds our character.  The struggle is part of the story.  They are stories we can tell to others, to help them in learning to move forward. To figure out how to get past being stuck in a start-over cycle that never really moves forward. 

Romans 5:3-5 “Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”
Hebrews 12:1-2 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.”
The next time you’re in the midst and feel like a mess has been created, wanting nothing but to erase and start over.  Take a step back. Look at where you are. Figure out how to work through it. It might mean an apology, it might mean fixing a mistake, it might mean admitting were wrong, it might mean doing ________________.  Whatever it is that applies to the situation.   
Ultimately, persevere and keep moving forward. 

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