Many years ago I saw a movie entitled ’17 Again.’ The plot revolved around a slightly older man whose life was falling apart piece by piece. His marriage is suffering, he is passed over for a promotion at work, and his kids don’t really want anything to do with him. There’s no doubt he was on his way to being down and out. It was at this low point that he made a wish that he could be 17 again. He wanted a second chance; a do over. He wanted to be able to do things again the right way and spare himself the misery that had unfolded into his present state. Cue the magic of a teen comedy and next thing you know his wish has come true!
I’m pretty sure I’ve made that same wish a couple times in my life — and I’m only 22! I’m pretty confident in saying we all have something we wish we had done differently and may have even longed for the chance to be sent back in time to take care of business! As I’ve been thinking about the idea of second chances and this very premise of being sent back to the past to right our wrongs, I couldn’t help but wonder why we so often long for the impossible of changing what was when we have a perfect first chance of creating what could be awaiting us with each rising of the sun.
We serve a God whose mercies are new every morning. This means that every morning we are not only free, but encouraged to build towards our dreams and desires with a fresh abandon. We are free to leave the past behind and go for the fulfillment of his will passionately. We may not be able to get the past back, but I promise you that God wants us to be in his perfect will today and tomorrow — and that’s a whole lot more fulfilling than the “good old days” could ever be.
We often think we know what is best and we often long for something that once was because it is comfortable and known, but when we let go of our ideas and our preconceived notions of what is good for us, we open ourselves up to the most satisfying present and an exciting future. This doesn’t change the fact that I wish I could right the wrongs that I have made in the past, but it certainly means I can redeem them in the present. It means that when I’m 26, 55, or 88, I won’t even need to wish I were twenty-two again because I lived consciously for those first chances.
We may never be 17 again, but we are 22 and [Insert Your Age] for the first time today — forget about the past and paint on the blank canvas that is our first chances.
Recommended Verses: Ecclesiastes 5:18-20