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Embrace the Mistakes

Stefon Harris jazz musician
original image courtesy of Wikipedia

A couple weeks ago I was reading in BusinessWeek about jazz musician, Stefon Harris. He shared about an incident that took place on tour with Wynton Marsalis.

“I can recall a specific moment. We were playing a blues in A-flat at Chicago Orchestra Hall. I was taking a solo, and I hit the most wrong note that you could possibly hit. And I hit it really hard. You could hear everybody in the room hold their breath. The other musicians started yelling, “Hit it again!” The audience was like, “What’s going to happen?” I hit the note again, and the band started to react to it. It was a “Eureka!” moment. It was the beginning of the realization for me that there are no mistakes in jazz. Now, sometimes, I get bored with the so-called right notes. I will consciously hit a random note just to see where it goes. When things go wrong, people come together. That’s when my band is most creative.” – Stefon Harris

I recently heard that it is common for Christians to get OCD, a behavior where they focus in on something and cannot move past it. Quite often Christians focus on mistakes or potential mistakes and cannot get past them. I love this quote from Harris because I like his view on mistakes. They lead to a coming together and greater creativity.

God has dealt with sin. He doesn’t want us to work to earn our forgiveness or work out of our guilt. He took on the penalty and shame of sin in order that we may be free. Free to move past our mistakes. Free to focus on what God wants us to focus on… our relationship with Him.

David tells us in the Psalms not to be like the horse or mule that has to be directed by bit or bridle (Psalm 32:9). External consequences are not to be our motivation. We are to live out of our heart. When we sin, we can look at it without fear knowing we are forgiven and loved in order to find what is blocking us from living out of the new heart God has given us.

Does this mean our sin is not important? Sin still hurts. We still confess, ask forgiveness, and repair damages. But, sin does not define us. It is not our focus. Our focus is on the life we have received in Christ.

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One Response to “Embrace the Mistakes”

  1. Dan Black says:

    What a great story and points.

    I think the only time we truly fail is when we don’t learn and make necessary adjustments from the mistake.

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