In the world of my childhood, on the playground, there was no better picture of grace than the "do over." You line up your shot beneath the basketball hoop and give it your best heave. The ball misses the hoop entirely and you shout "DO OVER!" Things did not turn out as you planned, so you get another shot. When we grow up and play golf, this is called a "Mulligan."
Casual readers of God's message, or watchers of the movie the Ten Commandments, will easily remember Moses going up the mountain and coming back with the tablets to find the people worshiping the golden calf. What we don't often remember is that Moses and the people got a "do over." Moses ascended the mountain again, and stayed up there for 40 days and nights again, and returned down the mountain again.
The return trip, however, was different. This time, the people waited and anticipated Moses' return. There was no falling into doubt and idolatry. Instead of descending in anger and shock, Moses descended aglow with God's glory. Same story, different outcome.
There are many times in life when we need a spiritual "Mulligan." We start a leg of the journey with the best of intentions and end up, as Bob Dylan sang, "on a bad motorcycle with the Devil in the seat, going 90 miles-an-hour down a dead end street."
God specializes in second chances. We all need a "do over" from time to time. Take a mulligan today. Tee it up again. Get a fresh start.