Thursday, August 11, 2005

What Would You Do?

I saw this question posed on a blog called Shades of Pink today:

If you had to choose between a million bucks or to be able to go back in time and fix all your mistakes which would you choose?

That's a really tough question. On the one hand, a million bucks would be really nice! I would pay my tithing first of all. I could pay off all our debts. Put Bryan in Private School. Buy a new house. Help my extended family. Maybe do a little (or a lot!) of traveling. I would also find some other worthy charitable organizations to donate to as well. Then I would try to save and invest a good chunk of it for long term savings. I would keep working though. I would not want it to disrupt my family life. Nor would I want the money to change me into a lazy do-nothing either. I might consider going back to school for awhile, and study some of the things I always wanted to study, and then working in a field, just for the sheer fun of it.

On the other hand, we can each thing of several things in our lives that we really wish would have turned out differently. We can look back on the pivotal moments of our lives, revisit them, and make the changes that would profoundly change the direction of our lives. I have made my share of mistakes and errors along the way. I guess we all have.

The only problem is, that if I were to rush in, and fix all of my mistakes, my life would be quite different than it is now. The things that bring my great joy now (my family) would probably not be the same. I might have ended up in a different profession. I might have married someone else. My children would not have been the children I have now.

I LOVE my family -- as it is now! I wouldn't change them for the world!

I like my job too. It has been a source of stability in my life for the last 22 years! Sure, I might be able to make more money somewhere else. But I love the people I work with! I enjoy my work. I have a great retirement plan and benefits. In another 8 years, I could retire with full benefits (at age 55!)

The hard times in my life, which largely came from my own mistakes, have been the things that have had a great deal to shape me into the person I am today. I have been humbled many times, and have risen from the ashes a time or two. I have learned to rely on God's help to get me through the hard times. I have learned to be grateful to the Lord for the good times. I wouldn't necessarily want to re-live the hard times, but I value and treasure the lessons learned.

Going back and undoing all of my mistakes, would also undo all the lessons learned. I'm afraid that I would be destined to repeat them again one day. There are certain things that God wants me to learn in this life. I believe that he has a path he wants me to follow. And even though I may have strayed from that path from time to time, he has gently guided me back. As I have repented, I have obtained forgiveness.

So even though it might be fun to dream how life would be different if we never made any mistakes, we would have failed to learn the things we needed to learn. We would not have had the experiences that help us to treasure the good, and despise the evil. Our character development would be far more shallow and incomplete.

Fortunately for me, my mistakes have not been what would be considered Cardinal, or Mortal sins. If, for example I found myself in Jail for murder, or some other grievous crime, I would immediately opt to be able to go back and fix my mistakes. The same would be true if a person had committed some great evil that had the effect of ruining someone else's life.

But for me, I would not necessarily want to go back and change every last turn of my life. Instead, I will press forward from where I am at. Realizing that I have been schooled by my experiences. Knowing I have made mistakes, but also knowing I have found Redemption as well in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Besides, who wouldn't want a million bucks!

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree with you and have some thoughts also.

It seems to me that, to go through life perfectly, without mistakes, is defeating Gods purpose in providing for our potential growth. We were not called to be perfect in this life. Only One had that calling. Ours was to learn as much as we can to value and develop for ourselves, the importance of eternal things,trusting Gods plan for us.
We have been given opportunities to experience the wide range of emotion to its fullest physical extent. To feel love and have joy in those feelings it also requires us to feel opposite emotions.
In our own way we too can follow our Heavenly Father in his example of "Loving the world" in our relationships with our families, peers, community, and enemies. That truly is where love and life has meaning.