Dearest Members of Bethlehem,
“You show me the path of life.
In your presence there is fullness of joy;
in your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” -Psalm 16:11
Sometimes it’s on a button on a remote; sometimes it’s right there on the screen in front of you. You just reach out your finger and press it, and immediately, the movie, film, video, or song that you are enjoying rewinds by 10 or 30 seconds. You effectively get to go back in time a bit to relive what you might have missed. This is a wonderful convenience.
But, the technology is limited, we do not have the ability to rewind our lives. The past is the past, and we can
not go back. Well, as far as I know, there aren’t any working time machines in my neighborhood. And I haven’t seen any souped up 80’s era DeLoreans either.
And this got me to thinking, since the cosmos is structured in this way - since we simply can’t go back in time - what does this mean for our lives of faith? Here are a few thoughts…
1. We need to be more “present” in the moment. I am sorry, but this encouragement is becoming increasingly important. Pinging phones, schedule alerts, and the overwhelming responsibilities are perpetually distracting us. Now is the time we have, so let’s try to more deeply appreciate that time. In every moment, there is something for which to be grateful. If we got better at “paying attention” (what a fascinating juxtaposition of words), we might be less inclined to rewind and see what we might have missed.
2. Don’t give the past more power than it deserves. Being stuck in the past is a very real temptation. Some have this unhealthy nostalgia that convinces them that the best of times are always in the rearview mirror. I am sorry, everything changes, but all the changes aren’t all bad. And if it’s not nostalgia, sometimes it’s guilt. The shame of our prior failings can cling to us; weighing us down and holding us back. There are lessons to be learned from our mistakes, don’t get me wrong, but the things we have done in the past shouldn’t be given the power to fully determine our present. If Peter had never gotten over his betrayal of Jesus… where would we be? Likely not reading a devotion from your Christian Church, that’s for sure!
3. Finally, I had a grandfather that was fond of saying, “Don’t put off ’til tomorrow what you can do today.” He was usually talking about mowing the grass or trimming the hedges. But there is still deep wisdom in those words. If you’ve got an apology to offer, an expression of gratitude to extend, or a word of love that desperately needs to be shared, my dear friends… now is the time.
Question for reflection: Which button on the remote do you find most helpful, the rewind or the fast forward?
Yours in Christ,
Gracious Lord, we echo the words of our Savior, “give us this day our daily bread,” and as we receive all of our blessings allow us to truly savor every moment in which we know the power of your love.We pray this all in Jesus’ name, Amen.