You can’t move forward when you keep looking back.

I think as I get older, I often find myself looking back on my life. I often focus on what I “Could” or “Should” have done different.

I think of all the things that I never got to do, the precious time that I wasted away. I sometimes focus on what my life would be like, had I done things a little differently, perhaps if I made some different choices along the way.

I often dreamed of being a long haul truck driver like my dad. Spending my time seeing the world. My dad was my hero in those days. I wanted to be just like him. Out on the road, jamming the gears, rolling down the highway. I wonder where I would have ended up if I had followed him out on the road?

My brother is a fantastic musician. “If I had spent just a little time on music” I often thought, I could play music just as well as he does.

Sometimes I wonder where I would be if I had stuck with Skateboarding? I was pretty good in High School, but for some reason I just let that talent slip away.

All these “What if’s” In my life. All these opportunities wasted. High School, wasted. Years in the Emergency Services, wasted. Wasted. Wasted…

So many better decisions I could have made. Why didn’t I make better choices?

Jeremiah 29:11-13New Living Translation (NLT)

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. 12 In those days when you pray, I will listen. 13 If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.

All those thoughts I carried in my mind about how much I had missed were consuming my thoughts. Then I suddenly realized,God has purposefully sent me down this path, so that I fulfill the plan that HE has for my life. All those things I thought were important, really weren’t important at all. The most important thing that I could be doing was living my life to honor and glorify God, and at that time, I WASN’T DOING THAT!

Actually, I was doing the polar opposite, I wasn’t living for God at all! If you had asked me if I was a follower of Jesus I would have said yes. But I wasn’t acting like one. And I certainly wasn’t living like one.

Just like in our scripture above from the Prophet Jeremiah, God was working on my life. He was setting me up for greatness by purging all the things I had set before him. Then, he blessed me with a pretty blonde girl, who walked beside me as I made lots of mistakes. He used her as a tool to help bring my heart back to him.

Then in 1997, two became three. We were two young kids with a little baby girl. Everyone assumed we wouldn’t make it. No one gave us a chance. But again, God knew what he was doing. There were hard times, really hard ones. Times we almost gave up. But 21 years later, our family is strong. Even as we face new struggles, God has been faithful.

In the old Scriptures, Jeremiah reminds us That God loves us and has plans to prosper our lives. He promises to listen to our call, but only if we trust him.

As I look back, sure I could have had fun doing things differently. But I wouldn’t be where I am now, in God’s favor.

And there is no place I would rather be.

What do you think?

Till next week,

Pj.

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