They say “hindsight is 20-20”. This proverb highlights that many of us would love to go back and do things differently once we’ve seen how everything works out. The resiliency of this saying indicates the great challenge we all face in trying to live life well the first time around and the profound value of heeding God’s invitation to us in Proverbs 3:5-6 to:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; think about Him in all your ways, and He will guide you on the right paths.
A couple of experiences this week have made me think deeply about this simple, but life-enriching command. In one case I spoke to an individual whose life was clearly headed in a direction they didn’t want. Because they had failed to heed God’s invitation to trust Him life was unraveling a bit: key relationships were in shambles, life was painful, they knew they were far from God and faced a demanding task in trying to right was wrong. They wished they could have a do over! Hindsight was bringing into clear focus the wisdom and value of trusting the Lord with all your heart and not relying on one’s own understanding.
The other was processing the loss of my good friend and co-worker for 10 years, Carol Albee. Her passing Tuesday night was sudden and unexpected. But as I met with the family, spoke with many of you, and mentally wandered through my own memories, I realized that despite the suddenness of her death (not affording her some moments to fix what might be broke), and all of the hardship Carol had experienced in her life, she had lived life well. How? The Carol I knew heeded God’s counsel and had trusted in Him actively and sought to follow Him in all things. She didn’t need a do over. She had lived life well the first time around. And although her service on Monday at 11 AM will be a time of great grieving, it will unmistakably be tempered by our conviction that she is now enjoying the reward of her faith and faithfulness.
I was impressed by the contrast. Although one circumstance was far more final, each displayed why we need to live life well. Admittedly, when you and I face each day, confronted with all the dynamics and drama of everyday life, it is hard to see things with such clarity. But that challenge doesn’t diminish the wisdom of doing life God’s way and utilizing the power of the Holy Spirit to do just that.
I am impressed that this season of Lent is a wonderful time to concentrate on getting this right.