Do you remember playing a game as a child and messing up when it was your turn to do something? You missed the ball or fanned on a shot. You’d scream, “I wasn’t ready – let me try again.” All of your friends would yell in unison, “NO DO-OVERS.” Begging for mercy from your friends, you pleaded to try again.
In 1920 an individual from Montreal was playing a game of Golf and flubbed his shot. He immediately bent over, picked up his ball, and placed it on the tee.
He said to his friends that he needed a “correction shot.” However, his friends thought it was more fitting to rename this “correction shot” after the guy who messed up “Buddy Mulligan.” In Golf, a do-over or mulligan is allowed in polite settings but not in competitions where money and prestige are on the line.
Sometimes in life, we get a chance for a do-over. We may be allowed a few do-overs when training until we finish the activity. However, DO-OVERS don’t happen in real life. We cannot return to the day we took our first drink and prevent our addiction. We can’t take back our snide remarks to our spouse, children or neighbour when we leave home in the morning. We can’t take back our rude behaviour towards the clerk who recently served us coffee. The best we can do and must do is to respond differently in the future.
Easter reminds us that God loves us and wants us to succeed in building our relationship with Him; He allows us a form of a mulligan. When we live a life that does not include Him, we can be given a DO-OVER by the Holy Spirit, who invites us to know God. When we accept the invitation to be a disciple of Christ, we are reminded that when we mess up in the future, realize it, repent and seek Him, we are forgiven. He says we can start fresh with Him and try to be the obedient, loving child He created us to be. Easter also reminds us that all creation will get a DO-OVER. A world where there will be no more suffering, wars, poverty, and jealousy. The book of Revelations tells us that when Christ returns, “there will be a new heaven and a new earth.” (Rev 21a)
“The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. Instead, He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” 2 Peter 3:9. While we still have breath in our lungs, we will have a patient God who in His mercy and grace, will forgive us for our sins and offer us the DO-OVER to draw us close to Him. Accept the Gift of the “DO-OVER” while it is being offered.