Let’s face it, half of the battles we face in life are those brought about by our own decisions; whether we thought they were from good intentions or bad. Others come our way naturally through interactions with those around us whose decisions affect us (both good or bad). How do we navigate this life of seeming uncontrollable circumstance? We never really know what the next day may bring us.
Like many my age, I’ve wrestled with the natural inclination to turn inward and to look backward second-guessing decisions made long ago by myself and by others. It’s a process of reconciliation we all go through as we realize later in life the things we once thought to be true are not and those we never thought true are.
As I get towards the end of that phase of maturing, I’m finding a sense of peace that I hadn’t had before brought about by a letting go of the things I had no control of and the realization that I’m not alone with the poor decisions I’ve made. Learning to forgive one’s self is a good thing even when others still hold onto what they believe in order to appease their need for self-justification.
Occasionally spinning around in that chair of life allows us all to look back at life today and forward at life in the future. It can be a difficult process at first as the enemy of our soul will try to condemn us for the poor choices we’ve made or tempt us to overly self-inflate ourselves taking more credit than we deserve for the good choices made. The one reassuring thing that has given me healing and peace of heart & mind has been the still, small voice of a loving Father who has shown Himself real to me through it all. In that, I can find rest; and so, can you.
Tonight, if you’re near that stage where you’re able to turn around in that chair of life and look around at the past, present, and future, I want to encourage you to ask your loving creator to show you when, and how, He was with you through those times. I know that He will. When He does, don’t be surprised if you begin to see things differently. Most importantly, you will grow in your faith knowing He will always be with as you as you travel through this short life here on Earth. And, that, is exciting!
Have you ever had the thought that you may be living the best, or worst, times of your life and everything is either uphill or downhill from here? I’ve had moments when I wished time would just stand still so I could stay in that moment forever. On the other hand, I’ve had moments when it felt like I was stuck in time during some of the worst moments of my life; it felt like they would never end. The future is coming. Like it or not. We can try to avoid it and hide in a room full of memorabilia, but at the end of our days, we’ll still look in the mirror and see the tolls that the years have taken on us.
The Mrs and I were talking about class reunions tonight on our walk to downtown and back. We were sharing just how much we, and those we went to school with, had changed over the years. It only takes a brief look at photos of those of us who graduated back then compared to ones of today to see how the years, and our choices, have changed all of us.
For the young people in my life, my wish is for them to take ahold of the time they have now while they’re still young and make the very best of it. If there is one thing the years have taught me, it’s that the decisions we make when we’re young affect us for the rest of our lives; and there’s no turning back the clock. Oh, there have been many times that I wish I could have a ‘Do over’, but even dreaming of such a thing is only futility.
So many people I know became drawn into a path when they were young and didn’t wake up from it until it was too late. Life offers young people many pleasures and temptations that will distract them from looking ahead and being prudent. If they could start with even the smallest of things like putting a little money away out of every check into an account for their kid’s college, investing in a long-term retirement plan at an early age, and creating positive life-long habits of exercising themselves mentally, physically, and spiritually, they will literally change their future for the better.
Tonight here’s to taking charge of our future and letting go of the regrets of the past. Even at my age, it’s not too late to start healthy habits that will improve my future and benefit all those around me for the better down the road. There’s no better time than today. I know it’s tough to make changes after so many years, but if we keep our eyes on what can be instead of on what isn’t, those small changes will become easier every day. Most of all, with God’s help, we can do all things and He is always willing to give us the strength we need to make those changes for the better…