If I had to do it all over again, based on hindsight, I wish I could do a number of things differently. But that’s all a complete waste of time. Life is not that way. You do things a certain way not because that is determined (as in determinism), but in the give and take of all that involves decisions, or actions. This is all good if it is informed and formed through faith in God, seeking him through the word and prayer. But at best this is a learning process, a process of maturation. Sometimes we are set back, or bound due to a poor choice (or choices). Always will there be the need to confess our sins, and go on. All of this to say: at best, it is never picture perfect.
If we didn’t make the best decision in the world, or if it was a flat out bad decision, as in sinful or mistaken, or if we just didn’t live well, or as well as we could have, indeed should have…. You get the drift. I’m thinking of not only past decisions, but the past with reference to who I was, the character which had then been formed. All that goes into that, including what may have been missing in my life, in terms of God and God’s good working through grace. At the same time acknowledging that in spite of this and that and everything, God was present and at work in grace in some measure.
The question becomes, what do I do now? Or better, what and who am I becoming, in and through Jesus? Life in Jesus is an ongoing walk of faith. We don’t do well to see it otherwise, to want to escape that. Testing, indeed challenges to our faith, yes, suffering because of it, are bound to come. We may as well not only face that, but in a sense embrace it as well, even if it is prickly and painful. It is part of life, and we actually can’t do well without it, in God’s will for us in Jesus.
And so, I in a sense forget what is behind: my own efforts and management of life, doing what I thought best, hopefully not completely apart from grace. And I press on by faith to take hold of God’s will in Jesus, and live more and more in that. Together with others in Jesus for the world.