I realize there may be some of you reading this blog who think it all sounds well and good, and you’d really like to commit everything to Jesus, but you’ve wasted years of your life already and are now in a situation that prohibits you from leading a life that looks like Christ. Perhaps you tell yourself that in another life you would have done great things for the Kingdom, you would have been the most committed and devoted follower of Christ this world had ever seen; in another life… Meanwhile you have what’s left of this life to decide what you will do for the sake of God and His glory.
The past has already had its say; nothing you do can ever change or make up for what has been said and done. Too many waste the rest of their lives lamenting what has occurred up to this point. It doesn’t seem to matter whether you are twenty-five or ninety-five, regret has a way of rendering you ineffective when we allow it to consume us. Following Jesus is a lifelong endeavor. It’s not a short sprint or a single opportunity but rather a long fabric of choices and acts of service. What we have neglected to do in the past, we can choose to do in the future. Opportunities once missed can be opportunities claimed. To be certain, what we have failed to do in the past can rarely be redeemed, but if we keep our focus on Jesus, we will have countless more chances in the future; but we can only succeed if we do not allow ourselves to become paralyzed thinking about the past.
It is easy to romanticize what we would accomplish if given another shot at living our life. How many times have you said, “If I only knew then what I know now”? That’s essentially the same line of thinking as “In another life…”, and it is ultimately futile. We envision the great choices we would have made, the things we would have accomplished, all at the peril of never moving forward and making positive changes today that will allow us to better impact the Kingdom tomorrow. It is profitable to learn from the past but damaging to pine for it. God has given you this moment for today only. If we spend it wishing for yesterday instead of seizing today, we only create more memories which we will later regret.
Don’t waste your time and energy thinking you should have lived a life more honoring to God. To do so minimizes your effectiveness for the Kingdom from this moment on. Instead of dreaming what might have been, focus on creating what will be. The world is desperate for what God has created you to offer it. The only way to impact our world for the glory of Christ is to take action today. No amount of wishing will bring back the past. Regret cannot change what you have already failed to do. Don’t dream of what might have been in another life; focus instead on what you can do in this one. No matter where you’ve been or what you’ve done, you can make a difference for Christ in the life of someone today. Stop wishing for another life and begin living the one you have with a passion for the glory of Jesus Christ.