Remember the "Back to the Future" trilogy? Dr. Emmett Brown's DeLorean time machine breaks the time barrier as he and Marty traveled back in time to change that one fateful decision! If you were able to go back in time to any point, what would be your first stop? I like to think about what it would be like to interact with Noah before the great flood or my parents before they started dating. I've also thought about the idea of traveling back in time to undo some of the bad decisions I've made - to make different choices, hopefully ones that would leave me with less guilt. Do you have regrets? Does it still affect you as you try to move forward in life? if God gave you the chance to go back in time, would you change the decision you made?
We all have moments we wish we could change. Think about David, who committed adultery with Bathsheba, Peter, who denied that he knew Jesus, or even Paul who martyred other Christians. Even the best make mistakes. 2 Corinthians 5:17 reads "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!"
Learning from others is part of what it means to be counted among the great communion of saints, an expression that is meant to remind us that we are part of something bigger than jus ourselves - bigger than all of the people living in our time and place. As part of that connection, we can choose to reap the benefit of their wisdom, modeling our choices after the decisions they made that were helpful and avoiding the pitfalls that resulted from their bad ones. Instead of wishing away our failures, part of our role in God's Kingdom is to bear witness to the lessons we have learned so that other people may reap the benefit of our decision or wisdom that we gained. God didn't promise to undo our mistakes, but promised that in Christ, we are given a fresh start and the grace to move forward. We can be MADE NEW!
Ask your teen...
If you were given a chance to travel back in time to change one decision you made, which would you choose and why?
Challenge your teen...
Pray about what God may be calling you to do with the wisdom your gained through that mistake.
Actively look for ways to share your knowledge with other people so that they benefit from what you learned.
Father, strengthen us. Take our hands and guide us through troubled times. Give us a new identity in Jesus Christ. Amen.