This reflection comes to us from Rob Jirucha.

Things like that always happen to you,” a good friend once said. This following a set of stitches on my chin from a dumpster behind a grocery store. Long story.

But true enough.

Like the family trip to Newport, Rhode Island. Over the unnecessarily too-high, pee-my-pants bridge. To see 19th-century industrialists’ summer homes.

Wasn’t my thing to tour a home larger then my two-acre property. Though having just turned 16, looking cool was. And what better way than to cruise a boulevard of mansions. Blend in like the residents.

Top-Sider with no socks. A pink polo shirt with collar up and a braided whale belt. The perfect outfit for a rented moped. You know, the peddle-to-get-it-going style. Yup, cool. And definitely local.

Wind in my hair and smile on my face, I was certain all were saying, “Wow, look at that guy. Must be a Vanderbilt grandkid. Such fashion sense.”

Thinking just that as I passed two cute girls my age.

Looked behind as I scooted past, I expected a wink and a smile. Some acknowledgment of me. But then felt the drop of the ditch as I drove off the road. Through the creek and into an oak tree.

Only minor scrapes and bruises. Though it felt like a punch in the gut when they together said, “What an idiot,” and kept walking.

Retired the belt, never went sock-less or collar-up again.

I gave a name to my mis-hap self: Buster. Break something? Buster’s fault. Say something stupid—Buster. Don’t get done what I should—blame that other guy.

Because I get it all wrong. Often and no matter how hard I try. A life that is perpetually February 1. You know, the 30 day-mark following New Year’s resolutions that went bottoms-up.

And yes, good friend of mine, I have scars to prove the existence of the Buster within me. Fifteen different occasions of stitches: dumpster, mailbox, vacuum cleaner, tree, baseball bat, someone’s elbow, someone else’s head, a merry-go-round. Two from knives when I was showing someone how to properly handle a knife. The remaining incidents I’ve had to put out of my mind.

Buster is a way of accepting the messed up me. Rather than the stress of “getting it right” in life, I expect Buster to visit every now and then. Frequently, actually. It allows me to find a slice of God’s grace for myself. And maybe give it once in a while to my wife, kids, and friends when their own Buster makes an appearance. (And at that writing of that last sentence, Buster popped in to say: “Ain’t I the greatest?”)

The world tells us we can improve or eliminate our Buster-selves. When I see the signs and adverts for an improved self I say to myself, “Buster doesn’t buy it. He is what he is. And he’s with me for the duration.”

In that I find grace.

May the Lord bless, keep, and shine his face on the Buster in us all.