As I approach yet another birthday in my seventh decade, I reflect back on my life with gratitude for all the lessons learned through life experiences. But at the same time I can’t help but to recall times and decisions I wish I could do over. It’s funny to me how much you can love something that you totally suck at. I love golf. If my body and finances would let me, I’d play every day. But I would want do-overs on just about every hole. I know the stance, the swing mechanics and the proper club selection, but rarely does it all come together for a par.
Life can be the same. It’s easy to get caught up in “what ifs”. What if I’d chosen a different career? What if I’d finished college or chosen a different major? What if I’d pursued that dream a little earlier in life? What if I’d chosen a different relationship?What if I’d recognized my God-given purpose and walked in it sooner? As I look back I can easily identify so many situations that I’d do over. Is it the same with you?
Im grateful that my God is a God of do-overs. When you study some of the main characters in scripture you’ll find most were given a do-over. Jonah disobeyed God and ended up in a fish but was given a do-over. David had a man killed so he could take his wife, but was given a do-over. Peter denied knowing his master Jesus not once but three times, but Jesus gave him a do-over. And perhaps the greatest do-over in history, the Apostle Paul, who persecuted and killed those who followed Christ, was transformed and given a humongous do-over that resulted in over half of our New Testament. Gods grace and patience in our lives results in a myriad of second chances. At nearly sixty-one years old I’m finding that to be true more each day.
There is something else equally important. While I’m still a man of many imperfections, I feel I’m finally walking in my purpose. It took me a long time to get to this point. But I realize that every event and every season of my life, including those I may at first wish to do over, were used to get me to where I am now. It really is true, according to Romans, that all things, good or bad, work together for the good of those who love God and are in pursuit of his purpose. Even things sent our way intended for evil purposes, are turned around for our good. Although I might do things differently if given the chance, I can be at peace knowing that God eventually guided my path so that I may be where I am now, even if that path resembles the Israelite journey through the wilderness, a two week trip that took forty, or sixty-one years in my case, to complete.
The rest of your life begins today. Don’t get caught up in things you can’t do over, but rather embrace the fact that in Christ and with his daily measure of mercy, each day can be a do over. Don’t determine your path forward by looking backwards. The past is a history that can’t be changed, but God is already in your future. God bless you.