“The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.”- Proverbs 16:9
We all have things we wish we would have done. We all have ideas we wish we would have followed through with. We all have people we wish we would have connected with more. We all have plans that we have not accomplished, and we regret it.
The bucket list has become popular. People creating lists of things they want to achieve before they kick the bucket (die, just in case you were wondering). It seems like more and more people are making these lists and checking items off as they achieve them, in order to avoid living with regret.
There is something inside of us that causes us to think about regret. We don’t want to leave anything behind. We want to make sure we reach our goals, otherwise we wouldn’t care about the bucket list.
Yet, we know there are those dreams we couldn’t reach due to time or money or some other unforeseen circumstance.
So, how do we live with regret? How do we move beyond the wishes? How do we keep going without thinking about the what ifs?
It is all about perspective.
We can reflect on our regrets or we can focus on God’s achievements.
The fact of the matter is, we will always have dreams that won’t come true. I dreamed of being an actor/comedian and that didn’t happen. I dreamed of being a lawyer and that didn’t happen. I dreamed of being a doctor and that didn’t happen. I often look back and think about the steps I should have taken to achieve those dreams. If I’m not careful, I can dwell too much on the fact that none of those things happened.
Yet, I look at what I am doing now and, in some ways, my dreams have come true.
I am able to “perform” on a regular basis. Now, don’t get me wrong, as a pastor I am not putting on a show, but I get to make people laugh in sermons and draw people into a story of scripture (actor/comedian). I get to plead the case for the necessity of Jesus to many (lawyer). I am able to guide people in healing for their soul as they consider the hope found in Jesus (doctor).
I am everything I dreamed of being rolled up into one role!
Now, I could mope and regret not pursuing my acting career. I could regret not going to Long Beach State’s Pre-med program, in order to pursue ministry. I could regret not pursuing a law degree at UCLA. In fact, I could look at God and wonder why He pulled me away from my dreams.
Then what? What would that change?
I would miss out on the achievements God has given me and the role He has placed me in. I would miss out on the great things I have experienced as a pastor. I would miss out on life if I continued living with regrets.
Most importantly, I would miss out on God. God has taught me to look at my pastoral position as a fulfillment of my dreams. He knows what I wanted and He gave it, just not the way I wanted it. He is God, so He can do that.
He doesn’t want us to live with regrets, but rest in His accomplishments for us. His glory can be found in every aspect of our life, but we have to figure out how to live in His glory and not die in our regret.
May you see God’s work around you when you feel like you haven’t accomplished what you wanted. May you celebrate the successes and not rest in what you missed out on. May you see God’s plan unfolding in front of you for His glory.
Peace and blessings friends.
QUESTION: How has God shown you a different way to dream?