Sunday, January 8, 2017
Have you ever longed for a “do-over” in life?
Maybe you wish you could have chosen differently when it came to selecting a spouse, thinking you might have avoided a divorce if you had.
Maybe your do-over had to do with things you said or did (or you hadn’t said or done and wish you had), that you think might have made all the difference in saving your marriage.
Maybe the choice had to do with a career, a college major, or where you chose to live.
Maybe you just believe if you could just go back and have a do-over, your life would just be so different, and so many problems would not have the impact they have had.
While we often may think we would like a second chance at some of these things, it is a deceptive notion. If we really had the chance for a “do-over,” we would probably still make the same choice, because it is only the 20-20 hindsight of looking back through the knowledge gained from experience that even causes us to realize we might have preferred the other option.
The conundrum is, though, that if we hadn’t gone through the experiences we have, we wouldn’t be the persons we are now, and so what we think we would have preferred would apply to a person far different from the one we have turned out to be. If we went back and made a different choice, it may well have turned out to lead us down an even more troubling path.
And sometimes God is actually working through the experiences of our lives to help us learn to make better choices for our future. Maybe the only way we could learn to make those better choices was by going through those experiences that taught us those lessons. If God had desired us to learn lessons another way, he could easily have chosen to put obstacles in our path and kept us away from those regretted choices. Actually, all of these things are mere pipe dreams anyway, second chances do not come to us through do-overs, but they can come to us.
I would suggest that, in the case of divorce as our example, lessons you have learned through the failures of your previous marriage, or through recognition of the mismatch you had accepted are the things that can inform you to make wise choices as you move toward your future. Everyone certainly makes mistakes, but none of us needs to continue to make the same mistakes if we will take seriously the lessons we have learned.
Do you want a do-over in life?
Then take on that next challenge, the next opportunity, the next risk, and taking the challenge, apply the lessons you learned from previous hardship, disappointments or failures. None of us is perfect, but all of us can grow and make progress. Falling down or failing is not the problem, choosing to not get up to try again, that creates problems for our futures. Instead of “doing over,” how about doing better next time…because all of us have more opportunities ahead just waiting for us to take them on to create a better future for our lives and our world.