Today’s fast is regrets.
That means learning to let go of past mistakes, missed opportunities, woulda/coulda/shoulda.
Because the truth is no one lives backwards.
It’s helpful to reflect on how past actions might have influenced present conditions but it is crippling to hold those thoughts and feelings so close that there’s no room for new ones.
Every one of the disciples ended up being less brave than they had sworn to be. Each carried a heart wound that could have stopped them from fruitful ministry after Jesus rose.
They might have allowed regret to bind them to the past but they didn’t.
Regret empties anticipation, flattens dreams and suffocated hope, because regret is a form of self-punishment. Whereas hindsight lets us learn from the past, regret beats us up with the past. Alicia Britt Chole
There is no more fertile ground for regrets to flourish than surviving the death of a child (or anyone you love).
It’s even more tempting when the person leaves suddenly, unexpectedly and without any opportunity to at least say, “goodbye”. When Dominic was killed instantly in a motorcycle accident I woke to a world where there would never be a chance to say anything that hadn’t already been said.
It was devastating.
But it’s not helpful to rehearse what I might have said or done if I knew the last time I saw him would be The. Last. Time.
Instead I have to live forward, embrace lessons learned from my past without allowing them to destroy me.
The Lord’s mercies are “new every morning”.
I want to embrace them every sunrise emptied of yesterday’s regrets.
I can face today confident that the Lord who made me will mold me and use me even when I haven’t always (or even often) made the best choices.
*I am sharing thoughts on 40 DAYS OF DECREASE (a Lenten journal/devotional). If you choose to get and use the book yourself, I’ll be a day behind in sharing so as not to influence anyone else’s experience.*