By Nyx Martinez (a 19-year-old missionary in the Philippines)

It was one of those days that started out as days customarily do, with nothing peculiar about it,.. until the night came around. I was happily sketching away on my latest piece of artwork, humming a tune and feeling that the world was a wonderful place to live in. Sometime later, I made my merry way into my office where the computer sat, its keyboard beckoning my fingers to make contact. Then came the devastating news:
The computer had bombed and ALL my files were toast.

At first the actual disaster didn’t register in my slow-computing brain. But then,.. it hit. No, it slammed into me with the full force of an angry bulldozer on a leveling mission. My stomach did a double flip and my vision went hazy. My mind became clouded. The room started to spin. The last six months of hard work — transcriptions, articles, graphic design, all that precious mental energy that had been stored on the computer’s hard drive for safekeeping — all gone.

Engulfed in frustration, confusion, tragedy and loss, I felt as if a snowball the size of a meteor and encasing my worst fear had just tumbled out of the sky and crash-landed on top of me.

Why, oh why, hadn’t I copied all that stuff onto floppy disks or taken the time to learn about backing up files?! Now bits and pieces of creativity were lost, floating somewhere in cyberspace, far from home. And I couldn’t get them back.

Now I understood.,.. Ah yes, I had been one of the less fortunate victims of the murderous monster of modern technology!

But then a certain story came to mind — about the time when Thomas Edison met a similar heart-wrenching tragedy. His workshop had caught fire, and months, years, even decades of hard work on numerous unfinished inventions went up in smoke.

“There go all my mistakes!” he said with amazing cheerfulness,.. and then went right back to work.

I wondered if there was enough positive energy left in my heart to start again as bravely as Mr. Edison, to pack all my courage into moving forward. Contemplating these things somehow eased the pain and melted away that woozy feeling of defeat. I struggled to stand up from where I had fallen to my knees in frustration, and forced the corners of my lips into a trying smile.

Oh, some things in life seem totally unfair! But I could not let defeat govern me, nor have any say in my future successes. I decided to see this situation not as the tragic ending to the story of my life, but rather as the first scene to a new beginning in a future yet to unfold.

This is my first attempt at writing since Demolition Day. “There go all my mistakes,” I’m saying. I haven’t quit forever, and I haven’t put down the pen. I’ve picked it up to start again.
All over.
All new.
— With backup files and floppies!

* * *
Someday I hope to enjoy enough of what the world calls success so that somebody will ask me, “What’s the secret of it?” I shall say simply this: “I get up when I fall down.”

- Paul Harvey

* * *
Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

* * *
Full half a hundred times I’ve sobbed,
“I can’t go on! I can’t go on!”
And yet full half a hundred times
I’ve hushed my sobs, and gone.

My answer, if you ask me how,
May seem presumptuously odd,
But I think that what kept keeping on
When I could not, was God.

Jane Merchant

On the Rebound, Copyright © 1998-2012, The Family International