The Plan, The Past and Other Silly Matters
By Sam Eaton
Do you believe in destiny? That somehow there is a future that is “meant to be?” Through the ups and downs of my life, I have spent significant time on both sides of this coin and at the ripe age of 24, I still struggle with a definitive answer. I completely believe that God has my back, that he loves me unconditionally, and he wants what is best for me. Yet, I also believe we have a choice to listen and follow His will for our lives or to turn our back and walk away. For this reason, I often look to my past with confusion.
I find an odd comfort in pulling the warm blanket of the past over my head and spending a few hours in its arms. A glowing memory, an innocent song, a happier time. Yet, like the future, our past is merely an illusion, an image of what we believe used to exist. Some people spend their whole lives wading in what could have been’s and what should have been’s… “If only I had made a better choice.”
Nobody is safe from the powers of regret and as a result, I think we often look for comfort in “God’s plan.” I don’t want to believe I screwed up, that I hurt people, that I failed to do God’s will so I say things like “if it was meant to be, it would have happened.” And while it is impossible to ever know, I think that is taking the easy way out.
God has a plan for our lives. Jeremiah 1:5 (The Message Translation)
“Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you. Before you saw the light of day, I had holy plans for you: A prophet to the nations— that’s what I had in mind for you.”
God often talks about His plan for our lives but nowhere in that plan is sin, we choose to stray from His path. Yet, through those mistakes, we grow and uncover the person God intended us to be. So does God mean for us to fail or does he simply use all things for our good? I guess my conclusion is it doesn’t matter. Does it? If we honestly trust that God will do what is best for us, our goal should not be understanding his intentions, but simply to know his word and therefore be able to discern his “good and perfect will” for our lives. (Romans 12:2)
Today I was thinking about what it would be like to be in a room with every person I ever met. What would they say? I can think of a handful of people who I just owe a serious apology to. Some of them I have written, some things go unsaid. Yet, all I can hope that these people would say the world was a better place because I lived. No one would say I was perfect, but I pray that while I made some serious mistakes in overcoming the most difficult parts of my life, they would see that they were a part of God’s work in me. That somehow, behind that pain that I caused them was a person who is trying (and often failing) to embody love, service, and forgiveness all the while learning from his mistakes.
So I think at the end of the day, God just wants us to run into His arms: the arms of forgiveness. He has torn up our list of mistakes and thrown them in the fire never to be seen again! He has completely forgiven our mistakes, so why haven’t we? So today, commit to letting the past be the past. Accept that it changed you, that it helped you become who you are and that you may never truly understand it. And while we may never understand “the plan” that’s okay, because God uses all things for our good. He’s totally got us and he’s never letting go. Ever.
It’s a long walk through this world, but keep walking tall, you’re one day closer to being Home.
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