As we all look to a new year of new beginnings, may we wash in the cleansing of Christ and live each day for Him. Let us cast off the burdens of the past and embrace the hope of our future. May we chase the genuine life that is not encumbered by regret!
By Kara Holmes
The Land of What If beckons me to come and sit a while. “Come drink some tea and dream with me,” he says with crooked smile. He pulls my hand and leads me down this old familiar hall. The floorboards creak, the cobwebs speak of memories recalled.
“Let’s spend this day together dreaming of what could have been.” He winks his eye and slithers by to open up the den. The room is as I left it last, when he and I last came. The chairs right here, the table there; yes, it is all the same.
“If only you had chosen this instead of choosing that…” And so begins the game he plays, this game I call regret. He claps his hands, “I’ve an idea! Let’s play it differently! Let’s live here all the time, my friend; what fun for you and me!”
We sit upon those wooden chairs and drink his tepid tea. Its bitter taste I drink in haste and sit in misery. “Why did I make those choices when I could have chosen these?” I lose all sense of time as I replay my memories.
The Land of What If laughs as he enjoys my tortured state. “It’s clear that you had chosen wrong, and now it is too late!” But for a moment, silence comes. I hear another Voice: “You are not living in this place. There is another choice.”
I turn to see who said this thing, but What If grabs my hand. “Don’t listen to Him; He’s not here. He’ll never understand!” He sweetly talks of how I now must nurture my regret. We walk amongst this barren room so that I won’t forget.
The books upon the bookshelf, pictures crooked on the wall, all tell the tale of times I turned from Truth and took a fall. But then I see a choice I’d made that really wasn’t wrong. And then the Voice I hear again; He sings to me a song:
“Come out from dying in that room. Come live with Me once more. I can redeem all past mistakes. I’m waiting at the door.” In anger What If screams and throws his hands upon his ears. “Don’t listen to His lies for they are never welcome here!”
“Just stay with me inside our room; His voice will fade away.” He tugs and pulls upon my arm, “Come on; let’s go and play!” I hesitate and turn to see my Savior at the door. His presence brings a light that throws What If upon the floor.
My choices from the past all beg and plead for me to come. But then my Lord speaks words of life: “They cannot be undone. Let’s leave them now, these days gone by, for they are what has been, but I can take your ashes and make beauty once again.”
I turn and see What If in all his misery and waste. “You are no friend of mine!” I shout and turn to leave this place. And as I flee that wretched room, my Savior grabs my back. It’s painful as He twists and pulls to lift a weighted sack.
“This burden I have taken now, no longer yours to bear. Now come with Me; it’s time to leave. You mustn’t come back here.” He lifts me up and carries me, my weary body frail. And as He walks, my Savior talks of Love that will not fail.
His words, they bind my deepest wounds and cleanse my broken soul. And when He sets me down to stand, I find that I am whole.