Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Her Reflection

"The past is a guidepost, not a hitching post." ~L. Thomas Holdcroft

I see her. She smiles back at me, a glint in my eye. She tries to get my attention when I'm hurriedly getting ready in the morning. If I stand there long enough I hear her voice.

I don't know if I want to talk to her. Things are so different now. Besides, what good will it do? I cannot help her now.

Although life is but a breath, it sometimes feels so very long and winding. Each day I walk further and further away from the girl I once was; away from that teenager and my youth. I still find pieces of her inside my heart. She reaches out to me, reminding me of who I was.

Sometimes I don't want to look at her. If I stare long enough I'll want to go back, to change what was, to make different choices.

Regret is a teaser. He wants you to wonder, what if? He conjures pictures of what might have been.

What if?

When regret captures your mind he invites guilt. Guilt is not a friend. I wish I hadn't done that is soon joined by I'm a terrible person because I did it. They consume you, lie to you, then paralyze you.

We all make mistakes. The little girl in the mirror staring back at me is innocent. But each day of life we are learning, exploring, and messing up. If not by our physical actions, by our own hearts and minds. Inside we learn judgment, self-worth, and anger. We decide who we will trust, if we will trust in Him. Our faith either grows in Him or we find something or someone else to rely on.

I turn away from those familiar eyes. I put on my shoes, grab my keys, and walk out the door knowing today is a new day. I am who I am today because of who I was and the people I met along the way. Today we are either more then the person we used to be or less then the person we think we ought to be. Is the glass half-full or half-empty?

Regret will visit if you'll let it. He will suck you in and spit you out. Guilt, a magnet that attracts all your mistakes and keeps you stuck, a burden you were never meant to carry. No matter how much you try you will not shake them off. We need a stronger magnet to pull all our mistakes, past regrets, guilt and shame away from us once and for all.

All we need is God. God's word is a double-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12). His Truth penetrates.

Hebrews 9:14-15 says:
Christ offered himself to God without any flaw. He did this through the power of the eternal Holy Spirit. So how much more will his blood wash from our minds our feelings of guilt for committing sin! Sin always leads to death. But now we can serve the living God.

That's why Christ is the go-between of a new covenant. Now those God calls to himself will receive the eternal gift he promised. They will receive it now that Christ has died to save them. He died to set them free from the sins they committed under the first covenant.
Jesus did not die so that we could live with regret and be overwhelmed with guilt. His blood will "wash away from our minds our feelings of guilt over committing sin". Jesus died to set us free from the sins of our past. We choose to stay a slave to them.

Such a futile task when God offers us a clean slate, a second chance, to refuse His gift and continue believing we are nothing more then what we've done.

I don't know what my future holds, but if I can borrow a line from a country song, "I ain't as good as I'm gonna get, but I'm better then I used to be" ("Better Than I Used To Be" sung by Sammy Kershaw). It's about my heart, my motivation, and how my past mistakes impact my future choices for the better.

"It's not what if, it's what now." ~Author Unknown

Linking with Jennifer at "Getting Down With Jesus"...

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