What a depressing word. Images of pains caused, words thrown, feelings neglected, people rejected…Seems they all coalesce into a question that screams in my head, “What the heck was I thinking?”
God has blessed me with an incredibly weak memory. So, when I look back three decades to my late teens and into my early twenties, most of it is just a blur – a smeared tapestry of incidents that have lost their individual definition and just left an overall portrait of stupidity and self-centeredness. It’s like trying to look at one of those Disney Photomosaic puzzles without my reading glasses. I still see the complete picture, but the detailed cells are beyond my eyes’ capabilities.
However, while I can’t make out the specific brush strokes, the picture itself is still enough to make me want to dive for the remote to the Blessed Distractor. Because, if I dwell on my past too long, my stomach starts to turn. I want to track down Mark Ruby and say, “Dude, I have no clue what I was doing.” I want to get a message to Ed Aaron on the other side of eternity and say, “You know…I don’t even know…” I want to find my supervisor at WestAir, Mark or Mike or Ted or something, and say, “As much as I claimed to represent Christ, I really didn’t. Please don’t judge Christians based on me.”
I came across this passage a few weeks ago in my morning reading:
Psalm 25:6-7 ~ Remember, O LORD, your great mercy and love, for they are from of old. Remember not the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you are good, O LORD. (NLT)
God could remember our past with digital IMAX 3D clarity. Yet, He chooses not to. Instead, He smears the painting – takes off the readers – and lets the details blend into a new picture; a work of art that doesn’t look at all like our past. Instead of the harsh, angry grays and blacks of our sin and rebellion, He sees the radiant palette of His love – beautiful, pure, holy, perfect.
While we live in the world of “What the heck was I thinking?”, God never has to ask that question. He knew all along what He was thinking and what He was doing when He chose you and when He chose me – a choice that, despite our propensity to sin and failure, despite our own guilt and shame over our past, He will always look back on with no second-thoughts, with no what-ifs…and with absolutely no regrets.