Stay positive in the present, stop dwelling on the past

I have always considered myself to be a jack of all trades, but a master at none.  Now, after several years of putzing around, I can call myself a master—a Master of Theology.

I still have work to do. I need to defend my thesis and I have a 2 credit course this Spring. But I walked at commencements, I received my honors cords, I got my empty diploma holder, and I now own a graduation robe with those funny-looking sleeves! The one thing I don’t have, yet, is the diploma.

Despite the joy, the relief, and the sense of gratitude that I have experienced over this weekend’s graduation festivities, I’ve also been fighting some discouragement and regrets:

“If I hadn’t been so lazy, I could have finished this degree a year ago, if not sooner.”

“If I would have started my thesis just a month earlier, I might actually be satisfied with its final state. (And I might do better than just a passing grade on it.)”

Some financial regrets, too, have festered:

“If I would’ve made tiny payments toward loans or retirement beginning in college, we would be thousands of dollars ahead right now.”

“If I hadn’t spent money so flagrantly during my first working years, we would be several more thousand ahead.”

But all of these things that I wish I had done are not reality. I didn’t do them. Though, I wish that I had. The only thing that I can control now, however, is to do the best I can with where I am now, and with where our family is now.

This week, Celia and I are going to be praying especially for you—for all who have read our articles, those who are subscribed, and all who will ever read our work. We are in a place as a family, especially vocationally and financially, where we can only try to do our best with what we have and with where we are right now. We can also help others avoid the mistakes we’ve made. So, while this blog is a place where Celia and I like to motivate eachother and hold ourselves accountable on our journey, we also eagerly want to share it with you so that we might help you in some possible way.

I hope that you don’t receive or even reject some of the things we write about because you experience a sense of shame, guilt, or discouragement when you read it. Celia and I are only sharing the fruits of our own journey, so that you might be able to take what resonates with your life and apply it in a way that will help you to make better choices—will help your life to be more abundant.

Please, pray for us too, that we don’t get caught up with discouragement and complacency. Pray that we can continue to take bold, fruitful steps in life—in our personal life, our family life, our work life, and in whatever other ways God is calling us to share His good news to others.

Pray for all of us, that we can move forward confidently, still being aware of our past mistakes, but surging forward with eyes opened, and with joy-filled courage. Satan wants us to dwell on the past and be crippled with fear as we dream about the future. He wants to detach us from the now—from the present moment.

God, You are ever present with us. Help us to be more fully present to the present moment, that we might be more attentive and aware of You and of each person and grace-filled opportunity in life that you give us.

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