Getting Past The Didn’ts

“This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” (Romans 3:22-24)

Some of the students I’ve taught or coached have razzed me about arriving at a point in my life they classify as “ancient status.” In fact, one young buck who just hit 20 gets a big smile on his face anytime he sees me and calls me “Old Man.”

Those of us who have achieved ancient status also are beginning to have regrets about all the things we “didn’t” do that he hoped to do. “The Didn’ts” have the potential to minimize us and let shadows fall over our lives. We see that the cups of our lives are half-filled. We see the empty space instead of what is still in it or remember what has been poured out of it into the lives of others.

For instance, I was fortunate to coach on 4 different high school basketball coaching staffs, but never was able to sit on the team bench at a state tournament game. It was on my bucket list, but didn’t happen. Or I have a multitude of books in my study that I haven’t gotten around to read. My tendency to add to my library is at a greater speed than my available time to read them. Now, just to clarify, those events don’t haunt. They are two of those insignificant “didn’t” events that just are.

Larger, more troubling didn’ts occur in relationships where the intentions are to reconcile, but it never happens. Or, desiring to see old friends that we’ve lost connection with, but it never comes about. Those are examples of the didn’ts that keep a person from being away to sleep at night.

As the scripture in Romans indicates, we all have failures that remind us of our imperfect condition. We fall short in achieving what God desires for us. The grace of God covers over a ton of didn’ts. Jesus lifts my spirits out of the mud, brushes me off, and points me toward the possibilities of a better tomorrow.

Even though I’m ancient in status, I’m a new creation…daily…because of Him. even though the footsteps behind me are now much more numerous than the amount yet to take, I am blessed to know Who walks closely with me and assures me that there are a number of “did’s” in the journey ahead.

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