One of my favorite movies is Groundhog Day with Bill Murray. Besides the humor, one of the things I enjoy most about the film is the drastic change that occurs in the main character from start to finish. He begins proud and self-absorbed, but, by the end, after re-living the same day countless times, learns that the true meaning of life is being selfless and genuine.
There is something appealing about the idea of going back in time. We, as adults, often long for the days when we were young and care-free. Sometimes, we wish we could re-live a particular day, not so much to do it differently, but simply to enjoy it all over again.
Then, of course, there are times when we wish we could go back so that we could change something; avoid a mistake; do something better. Sometimes we long for yesterday because such was a time when we were not dealing with the troubles of today.
Job was no stranger to thinking this way in the wake of all the difficulties that had come upon him...
“Oh, that I were as in months past, as in the days when God watched over me; When His lamp shone upon my head, and when by His light I walked through darkness; Just as I was in the days of my prime, when the friendly counsel of God was over my tent; When the Almighty was yet with me, when my children were around me; When my steps were bathed with cream, and the rock poured out rivers of oil for me!” (Job 29:2-6)
While it is certainly not abnormal for us to wish we could go back, the truth is that we cannot. We cannot erase our mistakes. We cannot do what we should have done. We can only move forward, learn from our mistakes, and determine to do better and be better!
One of the greatest gifts that a person can possess is hope. Hope looks ahead with optimism of something better. Hope gives us a reason to keep fighting. Hope makes this life tolerable when the darkness seems to overwhelm and we feel as though we’re drowning in difficulty. God, through His Son, gives us hope!
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls.” (1 Peter 1:3-9)
Thanks be to God that, while we cannot undo our mistakes or go back and do what we should have done, we can be forgiven!
“In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses…” (Colossians 2:11-13)
Thanks be to God that this life is not all there is. There is joy that awaits those who are found in Him (cf. Galatians 3:26-27). The greatest memory you have; the greatest dream you can dream; these do not begin to compare with how glorious and awesome heaven will be.
“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” (Romans 8:18)
"And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away." (Revelation 21:4)
I want to go there.
If you are like me, you do too.
Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Do not dwell on the past. Keep moving forward! Because the truth is…
There is no place else to go.
“Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14)