Mistakes, failures, I’ve made a few.
I mustered up the courage to tell my mother about one – don’t even remember now what it was – could have been a failing grade because I crammed for an exam and planned poorly. Or had a bad interaction with someone that damaged the relationship. Or spent too much at the shopping center. Or avoided a challenge that would have reaped a reward. Or failed at that second, third chance at something. Something. Some “thing” that upset me, and made me feel “not good enough” once again.
Mama listened with a calm stillness while I made my confession of wrong doing. Then, with a very intense look on her face she said,
“Your punishment is 30 lashes with a wet noodle,” then she burst into uproarious laugh. It was so loud and so long…. I laughed too. She was of course kidding. She was really saying, “Honey, it’s okay. Life goes on. You are still my child. ” Which is the same thing the Lord is saying to us all.
Now that Mama is gone, I feel there were missed opportunities to love her. For example, she wanted her mini Black & Decker oven fixed. We got it fixed but later I wish I’d gotten her a brand new one. One of those “things” I’ve regretted. The could’ve, should’ve, would’ve “things.” These things invade my thoughts until the Spirit interrupts with a new thought about “things:”
Do not dwell on the past. Because God is doing a new Thing. Do you perceive the new Thing God is doing in your life right now? If you do not perceive it all you have to do is ask. And then forget about the punishment for not doing the things that you think you should’ve done, because God Himself has moved on. That’s right. He doesn’t even remember. He has set our wrongness as far as the east is from the west. Psalms 103:12.
There are good reasons to reflect on experiences, to think about what you have learned and to offer it up as a sacrifice to God. But otherwise Mama would say, “Put a period behind it and move on.” You have punished yourself enough. And the Savior who has always been there is ready to grab your hand for that next horizon that next opportunity that new Thing.
I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. II Corinthians 5:21