In his little collection entitled Life’s Treasure Book, the Rev. Charles Sheldon included a list of epitaphs that he used to challenge his readers on whether they could truthfully put them on their tombstone. The list included this one: “This was a soul who had many faults, but he was always trying to correct them.”
Like anyone else I’ve made my share of mistakes. Some have been by omission, and others by commission. Some have happened when I had a bad spirit about me, but others happened when I was just thoughtless or careless – not in a malicious way but in a way that turned out to be harmful.
Not wanting to be defined by these things, I don’t dwell on them too much. I don’t think it’s useful to spend a lot of time bemoaning the past. But I do think it’s important to try and understand and learn from them what God would have me to.
Similarly, mistakes were made in ancient Israel in Exodus 32 when the people pressured Aaron into making a golden calf for them to worship. How do these kinds of things happen? More importantly, how should people respond when they have happened? I found several important lessons for understanding the process of how big mistakes develop and what to do about them…
There’s no “undo” button on life. We can’t change the past, but by God’s grace we can carve out a hopeful future. Because so long as we’re alive and breathing, we know that God’s not finished with us yet. And prayer is powerful to shape a new destination.
God bless you,
Andrew McHenry, Pastor
First Congregational Church
The blog of Andrew McHenry, Pastor of First Congregational Church of Emporia, Kansas.