SCRIPTURE: Hosea 13:14 (TM)
Shall I intervene and pull them into life? Shall I snatch them from a certain death? Who is afraid of you, Death? Who cares about your threats, Tomb? In the end I'm abolishing regret, banishing sorrow…
In 1904 William Borden, heir to the Borden Dairy Estate, graduated from a Chicago high school a millionaire. His parents gave him a trip around the world. Traveling through Asia, the Middle East, and Europe gave Borden a burden for the world's hurting people. Writing home, he said, "I'm going to give my life to prepare for the mission field." When he made this decision, he wrote in the back of his Bible two words: No Reserves. Turning down high paying job offers after graduation from Yale University, he entered two more words in his Bible: No Retreats. Completing studies at Princeton Seminary, Borden sailed for China to work with Muslims, stopping first at Egypt for some preparation. While there he was stricken with cerebral meningitis and died within a month. A waste, you say! Not in God's plan. In his Bible underneath the words No Reserves and No Retreats, he had written the words No Regrets.
No Reserves, No Retreats and No Regrets. What a fantastic mission statement. What a strong set of core values. What a strong conviction of the spirit and soul of a person who had a larger vision of life than just living from day to day.
Regrets? We have many of those don’t we. Our life is papered with one regret after another. We could make books of lists of those missed opportunities, missed placed chances and missed directed efforts. You want my list? Probably not since everyone has their own painful lists.
The good word from God is that he has redeemed us. That is the word that NIV uses in the Hosea verse used above: “… I will redeem them from death.” Living a life of regrets is a kind of death before we have breathed our last. Living a life of regret is a slow way to die … and yet, it has become a reality for most of us. One regret after another, BUT God rescues us from that painful reality. Redeemed us. Saved us. Rescued us. Pull us from the emotional and spiritual pit of regret.
Now we can move on or a better what to say that is: We can move beyond. Beyond our past. Beyond our mistakes. Beyond our own reality. Beyond our errors. Beyond our emotional and spiritual certitude. Moving into God’s reality and beyond the reach of death … the slow, painful death of living a life of regret.
We are called to embrace our future as we live into our present. No more looking back. We move forward because God has called us to move beyond!
What a wakeup call God! You, as only you can, have shaken us out of our lethargy and given us another opportunity to live. Thank you for this liberty from the grip of a life destroying past.