May 27. “God never consults your past to determine your future.” (Mike Murdock)
If you are a daily reader of my blog, then you know that I fell a bit behind this weekend. I was doing a bit of traveling for the Memorial Day Holiday, and missed writing for two days. As a result, I am writing 3 blog posts this morning to catch up. I just got done writing the post on judging others from Mother Teresa. This quote comes at a good time for me.
Thankfully God doesn’t consult my past to determine what is next for me, my future is unwritten. Even though I have made mistakes upon mistakes in my life, those do not add up to mean that my future is ruined in the eyes of God. Just as a lifetime of good works and a pure heart do not guarantee anything in my future, neither does a lifetime of mistakes.
There is always the opportunity for redemption and to make amends. I can choose my path as I go forward. Unlike Murdock, I don’t believe that God “determines” my future. But, I do believe that there is a guiding hand that He uses to influence how things will come out for me. And that hand isn’t determined by what is in my past, only by what is in my heart now.
This past weekend is a microcosm of the power of redemption moving forward in my life. On Saturday my wife and I decided to pop our camper and give it a thorough Spring cleaning in preparation for our upcoming trip. We had a long list of things to do, and we were working the list. We’d been at it for some hours, and the time came to put the camper back down. By this time I was a bit tired, and a lot hungry, so frustration wasn’t far from the surface. When we have inevitable problems getting things closed up, I snapped. I yelled at my wife, and shoved one of the beds into the camper angrily, ignoring that it was jammed. The results were a broken bed support and broken feelings with my wife.
When I came down from the anger high, I knew that I had horribly screwed up. The broken bed support will be easy to fix, and the part is already on order. The bigger screw up was with my wife. I went to her and apologized, but that was clearly not enough. No amount of words in that moment would matter. Once she knew that I was sincere, I had to start rebuilding with her and making amends.
I dedicated myself to making sure that the rest of the weekend was special for the two of us. We visited with friends on Saturday night. Then on Sunday we rose early and took a day trip that she was looking forward to. We extended the day trip to be an overnight mini-getaway. All of the activities we did together, and I spend all of my energy focusing on her and her needs. Last night we agreed that the weekend was quite a good one indeed. I awoke this morning with a refreshed spirit.
That refreshment of spirit comes from two things. One is certainly the getaway itself. Being in West Michigan on a sunny day, and seeing a beautiful sunset near a lighthouse is a surefire recipe for any soul’s refreshment. But, the bigger reason I am refreshed is that I spent the time with my wife, and together we had a great time.
Nothing can erase what happened on Saturday. But, if the result of it is that I have a little more patience with my camper, and spend a lot more time tending to my wife’s needs first, then it will be an experience worth having.