In the post to his blog, Jack’s Winning Words, today Pastor Freed used this quote – “You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.” (Sent by Robin Klehr)
Pastor Freed talked about not wasting your time on the “coulda”, “woudla”, “shoulda”s of life, but rather refocusing upon the “gonna” that is right in front of you. We often spend too much of our lives regretting the things that we might have done differently in the past and not enough time thinking about doing things differently in the future. Freed recommended saying to yourself, ”with God’s help I’m gonna…”
One needs to deal with the fact that in the instances in your life when you coulda, woulda, shoulda, you didn’t. The best way to deal with that is to forgive yourself and move on to the gonnas that are still ahead of you. For people who cannot find a way to forgive themselves the ending is often depression or worse – suicide. Those are endings that must be changed.
In his post, Pastor Freed prefaced the words “I’m gonna” with the phrase “with God’s help” and that is the best way to begin. Every week in our church service (now on video during the Corona Virus Pandemic) one of the first things that we do is a confession of sins and an ask for forgiveness. It is easy to understand that one’s coulda, woulda, shoulda’s are sins of either commission or omission – we state it as “things done and left undone”. After admitting our sins the Pastor exercises his authority, thorough Jesus Christ, to forgive them.
If that sounds simple, it is; but it is also powerful. Let me share with you’re the prayer that we recite together as a congregation –
We confess that we are captive to sin and cannot free ourselves. We have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. For the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ, have mercy on us. Forgive us, renew us, and lead us, so that we may delight in your will and walk in your ways, to the glory of your holy name. Amen.
Let those words sink into your mind and your heart. Doesn’t that about cover the things that have been bothering you; the things that keep you up at night? If those things were forgiven, couldn’t you forgive yourself and move on?
Now imagine that God or the Pastor has replied – “Your sins are forgiven in the name of Jesus Christ.” At that point, all of your coulda, woulda, shoulda’s are gone, in the past, forgiven. You can start to focus upon the gonna’s that God has empowered you to experience. You have changed the ending. You have a future that you can control.
You don’t have to wait for the Sunday service video (This week available at https://youtu.be/qDbi-vs-UyY). You can do this in the privacy of your home. Use our prayer, if that helps; but get whatever it is that is bothering out on the table and ask God forgive you, so that you can also forgive yourself.
Change the ending in your life. Now, what are you gonna do?