Reflections at the closing of an old year and opening of a new are regularly buried in acknowledgements of needed life change. We call them resolutions. Some of them can be light, almost superficial. Others can be serious attempts to remake the DNA of life.
“My life needs editing.” – Mort Sahl
What an effective sound bite! Short, expressive, attention grabbing, memorable!
Far more significant, however, is the fact that it expresses what, for many, is a quiet, inner longing. For some, this longing is instead open and bold.
While there are those who are able to efficiently process the negative aspects of their activity and character and quickly move on, others have a stronger tendency toward deep introspection and can be paralyzed by their mistakes and failures. Every one of us have sin, personal failure of either a moral, spiritual, or physical nature, that haunts us from time to time and for which we would welcome the opportunity to have the chance to go back and correct…to change.
And there it is: we want a redo! “I did poorly, so please let me have a retake.” We’re not suggesting, nor expecting, a free pass. There are consequences; we realize it. Yet given another shot, we know we could do so much better! So let’s edit this life test, re-grade, and throw out the lowest score.
Transport me back in time nearly forty years, and I would find myself once again sitting in my first algebra class. Man, was I bad at algebra…man, would I love another shot! Though I do not remember the teacher’s name, I can sure remember his face. He tried so hard to help me make sense of it all. I seldom achieved a correct answer, but sometimes was oh, so close! And so how great it was to hear the encouragement from time to time that I had actually done the problem correctly! There was only a small mistake or transposing of numbers that needed to be corrected.
Most of our lives have been lived with similar outcomes: there are things that we wish we could go back and completely redo, while other mistakes would only require small adjustments. Unfortunately, life simply doesn’t permit this time travel. Life’s events completed become part of our personal histories, and all of the attempted rewriting simply can never change what was…and is.
To our lives, with all of our self-inflicted scars brought about by poor decision making, disobedience, and outright sin, the Lord Jesus Christ comes…confronts. And to those who receive what he offers, the past is covered and the future rewritten…the opportunity to affect what the future would have been. The promises given to us in the pages of Scripture are clear:
- There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (Romans 8:1)
- Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
- And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. (Revelation 21:5)
The very hope that all of the ugliness of our lives would go away is achievable after all! What we could never accomplish on our own is instead possible through God’s provision for us: salvation through his son, the Lord Jesus Christ. And for the believer, that same truth can be their daily experience because, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
No rewrite for us. No redo. No editing. But God can make everything new.
Have you let him? Will you?