I mentioned earlier this week, that over the weekend we watched some of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. We so enjoyed it. The celebration, the horses, the performances, the humor (ok, some British humor is definitely lost on us!), and, of course, the queen! Everything done in order to honor Her Majesty. It really was spectacular…and a bit humbling. Truthfully, I do not think anything similar could be done in this country. It feels as if we have all but lost any sense of patriotism or love for our country. Sadly, I cannot imagine our country coming together to express admiration, respect (and even love) for….well, anyone. Certainly not a leader. The deepening divide, animosity, and hostility in our country really is sad. Even heartbreaking.
During the jubilee celebration that we watched, there was a look back at history. How years of history have not only shaped the UK that exists today but have also impacted countries around the world. Again, I was struck by the contrast that our country seems desperate to rewrite history. Not wanting to learn from history (the good and the bad) but to completely erase our history. But that cannot be done. You can change the names and/or rewrite books (or burn other ones) but history is still history.
The following day, I was considering this truth as it applied to my own life. Are there things that I regret? Choices, events, even seasons of life that I would like to reverse, change or simply erase? I’m sure there are. But history does not work that way. I can change names, alter facts or destroy “evidence” but the past remains. Interesting side story: years before there was me (or maybe even my mother), my grandmother “had a split” with someone in her family. No one has ever explained the circumstances (and, truthfully no one probably knows the whole story) but she was determined to change things. So, she began spelling the family name differently. Changed an “i” to a “y” – as if to say, “I am no longer one of you” and “we are not related.” The other side of the family was never discussed or acknowledged but the real truth remained. They and my grandmother were still related. Seems funny whenever I remember that story, but there have been times when I wished it was as easy as changing an “i” to a “y” in order to undo reality and move forward.
History has value. All history – church history, world history, family history, my history – is full of controversy. It includes mistakes and regrets right alongside victories and great joy. My enemy would love for me to focus on my regrets. Would love for me to view my past with shame, sorry or even disgust. He wants the same for most (all) Christians. He certainly cannot steal our salvation so he will simply try to defeat us – and guilt, shame and regret so easily do that. Apparently, even Paul struggled with his past (and he had quite the past!) but this was his answer:
“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14
No, I cannot erase my history. But I don’t dwell there either. I’m keeping my focus forward. My eyes on the prize. And I’m pressing forward. Still in the race…and striving to finish strong! I hope my “lessons from the jubilee” encourage you to do so as well!! Happy Friday, friends!