We all may have some issues with the past. Past problems, past mistakes, past sins, past decisions and past ignorance. We live and we learn if we are fortunate enough to live. Sadly, too many obituaries are of young adults who were barely starting life. Some young adults don’t think that much about the past because so much of life is in front of them – they hope. Most of us believe life is in front of us. It’s difficult to imagine not existing, but as we all know, life ends.
If you live long enough you’ll make enough mistakes that will embarrass you, worry you, frighten you or simply make you wonder if God is mad enough to assign you to an everlasting hell. Usually, the pain or aggravation of life’s past problems, valleys, hurts and pain is enough hell for all of us. If hell is any worse than the weight of life’s regrets, sorrows and foul-ups then it surely is more than a terrible place.
People who live long lives typically remember 50 years ago like it’s today. Throughout all of life, sadly, what we often are weighted down by are our transgressions or mistakes. Often it may not be some egregious sin but simply something we wish we could do one more time because we know if we could try again we could do it better. Unfortunately we don’t get a second chance. We have one opportunity to raise our children. We have one span of time to be good to our parents. We have one brief work career that we both work hard and do well or fiddle diddle away. Hind sight is always 20/20 but at the time we can’t stop long enough to see what we are doing.
Most of the time our lives are filled with good deeds, lots of good events and lots of good memorable occasions that we should dwell more upon. We forget most of these but the bad stuff always rises to the top. Bad stuff is like bad news. Bad news travels fast. Good news may or may not get around. The bad stuff is typically what climbs its way to the top of our minds and camps there to torment us.
The work of the Devil is surely to imprison us if possible. The work of Jesus is to set us free. I heard a parable about Jesus seeing the Devil with a cage. Inside the cage the Devil had a man. Jesus said, “Old Devil, what are you going to do with that man?” The Devil said, “Hurt him, torture him and make his life hell.” Jesus asked, “Old Devil, what would you take to set that man free?” With a hiss of hate the Devil looked at Jesus with a sinister stare and said, “Every ounce of your blood.”
Keep in mind this day that Jesus has paid the price for your freedom. Don’t worry about it anymore.
Dr. Glenn Mollette is an author and his column is published weekly in over 600 publications in all 50 states.