My wife Linda and I drove three hours to have dinner with some very dear friends. It was like many of our long drives, we were silent at times and other times we had light or serious discussions. On this particular trip, my wife asked me the most interesting question. “Looking back through our lives is there anything that you regret or would change?” I would have to say that this question caught me unaware and it took me several minutes of reviewing my life before I could give an answer.
As I thought back through my life I realized there were several areas of my life that I regretted. Number one on that list were the years that I was out of fellowship with God. I will not know how many people we did not reach for Jesus until I stand before Him.
I believe that we all have things we would change in our lives or regrets? Would you agree to that statement? Well would you be shocked to know that God had regrets about creating man? In the sixth chapter of the book of Genesis states exactly that: “And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.”
I remember when the JVC and Sony were battling for supremacy in the home video recording market. JVC brought out the VHS (Video Home System) and Sony introduced the Beta format. The VHS format eventually won over the market. How exciting it would be to be able to record a television program and then later watch it at your own leisure. You could record a football game that started at noon when the preacher went long, then you could just watch it when he got home. Recent technology has brought us the “DVR” (digital video recorder). The DVR has taken video recording to a new level. You can record any program at any time, watch one program while you’re recording another, replay any recording, which is especially good when viewing sporting events. You can even delete certain programs or scenes.
When Linda asked me if I had any regrets, I thought, “Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a DVR for our life?” Wouldn’t it would be great to sit down with a glass of tea and watch our lives again as they actually happened, and not the way we remember them? Imagine fast-forwarding over those scenes in our lives that we would just as soon forget? You wouldn’t necessarily have to watch those times that were too painful to watch again. You could even delete some events from your life like they didn’t even happen? You would create a “This is your life”, the high-lights, so to speak.
Let’s pretend that just for a moment that we are here on April 30, 2016 and we are reviewing all the events of 2016 through our DVR. Would your life be seen in exactly the same scenes as the previous year? Will there be areas you would fast-forward through? We can’t answer that question because it hasn’t happened yet.
What do you hope to accomplish in this year, 2016? New Year’s day is typically when people come up with a list of “New Year’s Resolutions.” However, we normally find that within months, and sometimes weeks the resolution is broken. So the question I pose to you today is “what do you want to see on your ‘DVR’ when you review it in one year?”
As with all video’s taken of families and outings, there are some scenes that are beautiful and crystal clear. But other scenes are out of focus or the picture isn’t framed correctly as people’s heads are cut out of the video. I would suggest that there will be portions that you would want to cut out of the video (taking pictures of the ground when you thought you had the camera turned off, etc.).
To review 2016 with our DVR on May 1, 2017, you will have to watch the good and bad. Even if you fast-forward, the scenes are still there. What if you could not delete any portion of the video? What if the whole world was going to watch the life you lived in 2016? I am sure that in my life there would be events that I would want to fast-forward or delete so that others could not see. But what if you couldn’t fast forward or delete, but had to sit on the front row as others watched your life unfold?
While we certainly can’t project the events of the coming year, we certainly can take the steps to make 2016 the best year of our lives. We can begin making decisions today and every day they would ensure one year from now we will be very happy with the recording of our life that took place in 2016.
We have control. We make the decisions that affect how our lives will play out in the next year.