If there’s one thing I never want to carry with me through this life, it’s regret. As I’ve matured (spiritually) over the years, I’ve learned to build my life around a particular attitude: live with no regrets. This doesn’t mean I party like there’s no tomorrow. It means I never want to look back at my life and wonder what could have been. What could have happened had I just taken step #1001 and passed into the great thing God had been preparing for me the whole course of my journey instead of giving up and calling it quits at step #1000?
I’m ruminating on this topic of regret because of where I’m at in my own personal life right now. A page is about to turn on this season I’m in. I have some exciting opportunities in front of me which will take A LOT of work to accomplish, but will totally be worth it in the end. To be honest, one of my greatest fears is to say no to something that God lined up for me and realize after it’s too late that I missed out on something big.
I’m reminded of something I read in 1 Samuel. King Saul threw away the things God had for his life because he wanted things his way and not God’s way. The pinnacle of Saul’s downfall can be found in 1 Samuel 13, but the verse that gets to me is verse 13 – And Samuel said to Saul, “You have acted foolishly; you have not kept the commandment of the Lord your God, which He commanded you, for now the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. (Taken from the New American Standard edition)
Samuel’s statement is pretty clear – God would have blessed Saul’s reign as king over Israel forever. FOREVER. But because he disobeyed God and moved in fear and impatience, God stripped him of what could have been. Those words are painful. What could have been. It indicates something in an alternate reality, or in a black hole somewhere – something that could have come to fruition, could have come into existence, but didn’t. The abortion of a dream. Of a purpose. Of a plan. God’s plan.
In verse 14, Samuel continues – “But now your kingdom shall not endure. The Lord has sought out for Himself a man after His own heart, and the Lord has appointed him as a ruler over His people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.”
I don’t want to be the subject of why God had to turn to someone else to get His will done. Because make no mistake, God’s plans will come to pass regardless if He has to go through a million people to make it happen. But I want to be the man after His own heart, I want to be the one God turns to to walk out His will, to be given responsibility over His people, His things, His blessings.
My heart broke when I read that verse the same way it broke when I read the verses surrounding Moses and the fact that he was able to see the Promised Land from a distance but was not allowed to enter it. Because of disobedience, these two men were never able to experience the full beauty of the promise that God had been leading them towards.
How unfortunate and depressing.
I don’t want to live my life, to walk this narrow path, to obey rather than sacrifice, just so I can see God’s fulfillment of His promises from a distance. I want to be in the center of them, dancing, singing, and praising God for coming through in everything He said He would.
I’ve met many people over the years who have never made it to their Promised Land because they gave up along the way. They either succumbed to thinking that God wouldn’t come through, or they got tired and lazy and complacent and gave up. Others simply thought they could do things their way without direction from God and still reach all that God had in store for them.
I want to reach the other side. I want to breathe in the air of a new land, to see all that God birthed in my heart so many years ago come true. I long for the fulfillment of God’s promises in my lifetime. I don’t want to be like David and leave the completion of the temple to my children. I want to take part in it with them.
As the pages of this chapter in my life come to a close, I eagerly and expectantly turn the page to the next chapter in my life. I don’t have to worry about what might have been. I don’t have to look back on my life and wonder what God might have done had I only walked in obedience and right relationship with Him. No. I have run the race, I have taken hold of the opportunities presented to me – no matter how difficult or challenging they have been. And each day, I continue to strive for the dream…