Stuck in Time
It’s difficult to image what life might be like without the grace of God in my life. Or, without the ability to let go of wrongs done to me over time. Walls would be built that would seem impenetrable and impossible to overcome. Isolation would encompass my soul and my mind. Life would be only a glimmer of what it could be, and loneliness would rule every waking moment.
As time passes by, those feelings would only grow stronger. It would seem as though I were still living when the original offenses happened unable to break free from those moments to enjoy life around me today. I would be stuck in time.
Earlier tonight, at our church small group, during our fellowship time one of the other men shared how his father had kept a ‘Grudge List’; a list of people who had wronged him over time. Many of them had passed away long ago, yet he kept their name on the list years later. It was as though he couldn’t get past the offense all those years later and was stuck there.
Often, people will reminisce about the past, keep sentimental pieces around the house that remind them of happy times, and repeat stories of loved ones who’ve past on. I’m that way to a fault sometimes. But, when I allow myself to stay in that place emotionally, life around me continues to go by and I miss out on the very good memories I could be having today.
The Mrs. and I went for a walk downtown this morning. It was the final day of Oktoberfest and everyone was getting prepared for the crowds. The local church who regularly meets in the old courthouse had set up a tent & chairs outdoors for all to join. So, we moseyed over, enjoyed a free cup of coffee, and got to know one of the people who attend there.
While talking with this nice gentleman who gave us free coffee, I couldn’t help but to notice just how young everyone looked at the church. Most were in their teens to thirties. I must say I felt old at that moment. There was one thing that stood out to me, though; the innocence and joy the young people had. It was as though they didn’t have a care in the world and were at a place in their life when they were just getting started. The pain of failure, loss, and heartache hadn’t hit them. They weren’t stuck in time.
What a fresh attitude to be around. It reminded me of those days when I didn’t think about the past, worry about the future, or get tangled up in the drama of the day. Time had yet to happen and I was just along for the ride.
I’ve made my share of mistakes in this life and others in my life have made them too. The one thing that has kept me from keeping my mistakes, and theirs, on that ‘Grudge List’ has been the realization that we are all fallen and the knowledge that there’s only one way out of it; Jesus.
The free gift of grace in my own life allows me to let go of those past hurts and pains. His loving acceptance of my lost, wounded, and broken life empowers me to do the same for others. It’s only through the awareness of my own weaknesses that I’m able to understand the weaknesses of those who have hurt me; and to forgive them.
Today, I hold no grudges. Sure, I still hurt at times and that comes out when I’m not expecting it. But, I know that when it does, I must lay it at the foot of the cross or the next time I land there, I’ll only see those grudges and not His grace. When I leave them there, He takes them so that, the next time I come back for my own failures, He extends an open arm of love and forgiveness.
Healing of past relationships, and current broken ones, can only come through forgiveness. Keeping that ‘Grudge List’ will only keep us from the very freedom we desire. If that’s you tonight, if you’re keeping that list tucked away in a safe place, I want to encourage you to take it out and lay at the foot of the cross. When you do, you will find true freedom and a joy you haven’t had for years that was held down by the weight of those grudges. He will meet you there. He will heal, forgive, and wash away every tear. I guarantee it…
Love always my friend,
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