Today I turn sixty years of age. Like anyone who reaches this age I wonder: "Where did the years all go?" And, "I can't be this old yet." It just doesn't seem possible at all. But the truth is what it is. I am 60! I think I am dealing with all this in a way that is emotionally and spiritually healthy but then I have my days when I do wonder.
Do I have any regrets? Of course I do. But I refuse to be led into the future by such regrets. These will not make me more like Christ.
Most of my regrets are about things I doubt I could change much if I tried. Many are even rooted in a kind of guilt that does not produce godliness. I would say the biggest regret I have is that I spent too much time pursuing causes and debates that do not matter that much at all. I was so sure, at the time of these debates and causes, that I knew what was right and thus plowed right on without a great deal of wisdom. I felt I was being courageous in the work of the Lord but often I was just being unkind and opinionated. I regret those battles and in many cases have asked people to forgive me wherever I know I can and should. What I regret even more is that I spent so much energy in pursuing things that did not matter when I could have done much more to spread the love of Christ and to pursue the unity of Christ's church in the bonds of truth.
But I am filled with hope now more than ever. God is merciful, even to pastors who make mistakes. He is gracious, especially to Christians who think they know a lot and then learn, as they inevitably age, how very little they really knew in the first place. My confidence is not in anything that I have done or will yet do. It is not in my being right or wrong. It is in Christ alone. He is my rock. He is my hope, now and forever. And when I draw my last breath, at some future point in time, he will be there leading me safely home. I trust him, him alone. If that is not enough then I have no hope. My confidence is not in device nor creed, as the hymn writer put it, but in Christ the ever living one who pleads his wounds for me. "It is enough that Jesus died and that he died for me."
For all you who read this blog, and have helped me along the way through my life, thank you so much. You have shared in this pilgrim's progress. May God in Christ alone be praised.