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Left Overs and Do Overs

There is a deep divide separating two groups of people. There are no indicators to determine what group someone might fall in, but the divide exists, and it is a yawning chasm.

You either like leftovers, or you loathe leftovers.

I LOVE leftovers. Love. There are many reasons for this love:

First, I dislike waste. Leftovers means less food into the garbage. It doesn't always pan out in meal planning, and I still occasionally have to throw weeks old forgotten food-turned-science away.

Second, I appreciate the break from preparing a meal. With three young children, a full time job, and extracurriculars, it’s a wonderful feeling to reheat a homemade meal when chicken nuggets (or cereal, no shame) might be dinner.

Third, I like the opportunity to create something new from existing ingredients. This is one of my favorite ways to be creative, though has backfired on me a few times (hello, cereal). I actually strive for leftovers when I cook, knowing that excess is simply a new recipe creation deferred.

It’s a second chance to turn a meal that was “meh” into “This is awesome!”. Telling my kids they’re eating (and loving!) a variation of something they previously didn’t enjoy is amazing. My kids think I’m cool in that moment, because one day they’ll think I’m incredibly dorky and embarrass them to no end.

Maybe leftovers aren't for you. But if you've ever scrapped a wrecked meal and ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches instead, do overs most definitely are. Does it look like the meal you planned? No. But isn't that how do overs work?

I'd like to think Jesus is probably team pro-leftovers. It’s not just the redo He gave Peter after Peter denied Him, but that His ministry is focused on letting not one of us go to waste. Not one of us stay as we are but instead become new creations in Him, and we get not a second chance, or a third chance, but seven times seventy chances. We can endlessly be “meh” and Jesus will make us into something amazing.

Leftovers and do overs. Those are Jesus’s people. Those are the ones yearning for a new creation, to be remade and restored from their less desirable beginnings. The ones who are willing to trust that in the hands of the Creator, something infinitely better will be made of pieces and parts.

The next time you're heating up last night's dinner, grabbing a slice of cold pizza, or pouring milk in a bowl of Lucky Charms after overcooking the chicken, find the gratitude in being a leftover, a do over, and a new creation. You don't have to be perfect. You just have to be willing to trust that the Creator of the Universe can make something new, something better, from you.

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