Sunday, April 14, 2013

Whether We Realize It Or Not, We All Need A Chance For an Undo

Countless times while writing something on my computer I make a mistake with the copying or pasting something to a document.   It’s so reassuring to have the “undo” button which makes the mistake go away and brings me back to where I was prior to the unwanted change. This week I was attempting to make a change on the Post Surgery Prostate Cancer Support Forum, which I host.  I thought I was deleting a duplicate board that I created. I had my mouse in the wrong place and ended up deleting the entire forum.
Countless dozens upon dozens of hours I spent creating topics and introducing each of those post surgery topics were lost. There no way to go back in time and recover them.  All that was left for me to do was to spend lots of  my time re-creating the entire forum.

Sometimes what seems to be a harmless decision can alter our lives and the lives of others forever.  When my father decided to step out side the bounds of marriage to have an affair he never imagined a day would come when he’d desert his family and move to another State. As a result of that decision he never saw his daughter or grand children ever again. In the last decades of his life, I only got to seem him twice.

A very dear friend who in her eighties was a grandmother figure to me. One day while taking a shower the phone rang. Rather than let her answering machine take the call, she decided to hurry out of the shower to answer her phone. In her rush to get to the phone she fell and fractured her hip. After a series of medical complications following surgery she died. How I wished there was an undo button that would have allowed her to reverse her decision and let her answering machine take the call.

One timers are folks who need an undo button. You can be friends with one timers for years without knowing they don’t have an undo button. When a harsh word, a misunderstanding, or a disagreement arises these long-term friends drop you like a hot potato.  They don’t give anyone a second chance.

I’m glad God is a God of second chances, third chances and more. Jesus told the story of the Prodigal Son who asked for his father’s inheritance so he could leave home to party hearty. When his money ran out and his friends left, he took his chances and returned home. Even he knew that he didn’t deserve a second chance. When he saw his father he asked if he could return home as a servant.
His father would hear none of that. He clothed his son with a robe, sandals, and a ring. Then his father threw a wild celebrating his son’s return stating:
Luke 15:23-24
And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.'

Though the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross all of humanity separated from God due to sin gets an undo. We can be reconciled to and with God. We can hear those beautiful words, my son (or daughter) was dead and is alive again. S/he was lost and is now found. There is no better news than that.

And beware! Beware of those people in your life without an undo button. They are like the prodigal’s older brother who was ticked when his brother received a second chance. He wouldn’t join the party. The Bible says in
Luke 15:28-32
 But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him.  So he answered and said to his father, 'Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends.  But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.'  And he said to him, 'Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours.  It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.' "  

Like the older brother in Jesus' parable there are some people who won’t ever appreciate the chance to give or receive an undo. I think the happiest people, families and marriages all occur with people who possess the capacity to give others an undo.

I wish my forum had an undo button, but it didn't  The good news is that after many hours of dedicated work it’s back on-line. If you or someone you know is considering prostate surgery to treat prostate cancer please visit the  Pre-surgery Forum at:
Or the Post-surgery Forum at:

Rick Redner
Co-Author of:
I Left My Prostate in San Francisco-Where's Yours?

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