I hate it when I make dumb mistakes! I recently made two dumb mistakes in an article I wrote - I wrote SOUTH America instead of CENTRAL America (although technically you could say central america is part of the continent of south america) and then I got a number wrong, too. The person the article was about wasn't very happy about it and I felt terrible that she weren't happy with the finished product.
To be honest, in the almost year since I've been writing for our local newspaper, I've only gotten positive feedback from the subjects of my articles and readers alike. So, for me to get very negative feedback, well, let's say it was sort of like a kick in the gut.
I'm sort of a perfectionist when it comes to my writing. My goal is to accurately portray the people I write about - to give them a true voice so readers can be helped and encouraged and maybe even want to get involved. The result of my dumb mistakes was that the past two days I've spent kicking myself - going over and over the "what ifs." What if I had stuck with my original wording (which, ironically, would have been correct)? What if I had done this, that or the other? On and on, around and around I have gone in my mind - regret tasting very sour.
At this point, though, there isn't much I can do about it. We could print a correction nobody would see or probably care about if they did see it. I have already apologized profusely. Nothing, however, changes the image this person has in their head of me, my writing and my incompetance. And that is hard to swallow.
The truth is, more than anything, my pride hurts. I can honestly say I tried my best with the article - I didn't make the mistakes on purpose. I can also say that in the grand scheme of things, they won't matter much in eternity. I can also say that the average person reading the article didn't notice them. Nobody was hurt in the publishing of that article - including the subject. But I want everyone to like me and my writing and I can't seem to let it go, can't seem to stop beating myself up about it.
It's my pride kicking up a fuss.
Even if it isn't perfect by normal standards, God can still use it - despite me. And really, that's how He always uses anything I do - despite my own weaknesses and frailities that come from being human. Through my weaknesses, God is made strong. Personally, I win some and lose some, but God ALWAYS comes through.
So, I have to let it go and move on. I can learn from this and hopefully, not make the same mistakes next time. The truth is, it is a little article, in a little paper, in a little state, on a small part of the earth, on a small planet in a huge solar system. I'm really not important enough for all this angst. Seriously.
As Lamentations 3:22-23 says, "Because of the Lord's great love, we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness."