2017-04-19 / Faith

Too much alone

Lessons from the Heart
By Pastor Michael Rogers

My days are full. I am so bogged down with things to do, and I do not get time for myself. I am most alone driving or mowing the lawn. I am also on my own if I decide to clean out my garage. So it is weird that I spend some of those precious moments in regret. I am not normally riddled with guilt. With some mental gymnastics, I usually come out the hero or the victim, not the villain.

Then my mind wanders. Suddenly, I am remembering the friend I let down, the lie I told, the birthday I forgot. All it takes is one bad memory and I am experiencing it again. I ask what I could have done differently. I rehearse what I should have said. I try to fix a problem no one else cares about anymore. I do not want to be the villain. I want to be the guy everyone admires.

Sometimes, I was the villain. Regret is when you know you were wrong but you do not know how to fix it. I am just being honest. I have reason to regret. I can respond in one of three ways. Cave in, push out, or look up. If I cave in, I am a villain, a wolf in sheep’s clothing. I can live up to my villain status, convinced I can never be anything else. Nothing good comes from believing this lie because I will start looking for trouble.

If I push out, I am a victim. They made me do it. I can justify anything and cover my regret with false courage. I will show them! I am better than them anyway! I can use my own standard of right and wrong. They cannot tell me I was wrong! It was right for me! In the end, I am lying to make myself feel better. I cannot push out because I will start looking for excuses.

If I look up, I stop thinking about myself and think about the God who saves me from my villainy. I admit I can be villainous without branding myself a villain. I am a child of God and He loves me so much, He is willing to pay the penalty for my villainy. So much that He accepts me where I am. I must look up.

Then, I can look out. No longer in the past, I look to the future. I learn from mistakes, live for today, and yearn for tomorrow. I am created for good and strive to live up to that goodness. I believe when I miss the mark God is ready to pick me up, dust me off, and send me back into the game.

Too much alone? Not while He is with me.

Michael Rogers is the pastor at the Faith Church of Christ in Burlington.

Return to top