Categories
Life

Regrets and failure

Today, I attended a funeral. It was for one of my wife’s friends, who had suddenly and unexpectedly passed away. As I listened to the minister’s message, I was struck by one of things suffered by those who lose someone close to them. A death rarely occurs in an expected fashion, where there is time to plan a final conversation, share a final meal, or make a final expression of friendship or gratitude. What we are left with are the many things unspoken, forgiveness never asked or granted, and regrets that may be intense and may follow us for years. The obvious answer to this dilemma is to “keep short accounts”, not to leave things alone that are in need of resolution. And that is a fine and appropriate way to decide to live my life from this point on.

But what about the things from prior to this moment, the things from all of my life before now? Sure, I can make my own list of all those to whom I’ve done wrong, or who have done wrong to me, and resolve to contact them and try to make everything alright. But what happens if I cannot contact that person, or if they refuse to speak to me, or if, as in the case of today’s funeral, they are no longer living? That failed event of life still exists, and I may still be affected by it. 

God is master of the present, the future, and the past. He can come into that episode of years ago: a bad memory, a destroyed friendship, a failed marriage, or anything you might name, and bring healing and resolution from the pain it still causes. Even if that event has damaged me in some way, His healing can begin to repair the wounds and make me new. 

Bob Bennett wrote a song, Lord Of The Past, that describes this process beautifully. I do not know for certain on which album it first appeared; I do know it is available on a currently available album titled The View From Here, available here. I believe it first was released on Lord Of The Past: A Compilation, released in 1989.
 

Every harsh word spoken
Every promise ever broken to me
Total recall of data in the memory 

Every tear that has washed my face
Every moment of disgrace that I have known
Every time I’ve ever felt alone

Lord of the here and now
Lord of the come what may
I want to believe somehow
That you can heal these wounds of yesterday

So now I’m asking You
To do what You want to do
Be the Lord of the past
Oh, how I want You to
Be the Lord of the past

All the chances I let slip by
All the dreams that I let die in vain
Afraid of failure and afraid of pain

Every tear that has washed my face
Every moment of disgrace that I have known
Every time I’ve ever felt alone

Lord of the here and now
Lord of the come what may
I want to believe somehow
You can redeem these things so far away

So now I’m asking You
To do what You want to do
Be the Lord of my past
Oh, how I want You to
Be the Lord of the past

Well, I picked up all these pieces
And I built a strong deception
And I locked myself inside of it
For my own protection

And I sit alone inside myself
And curse my company
For this thing that has kept me alive for so long
Is now killing me

And as sure as the sin rose this morning
The man in the moon hides his face tonight
And I lay myself down on my bed
And I pray this prayer inside my head

Lord of the here and now
Lord of the come what may
I want to believe somehow
That You can heal these wounds of yesterday

So now I’m asking You
To do what You want to do
Be the Lord of my past
You can do anything
Be the Lord of the past

Be the Lord of the past

Be the Lord of the past

 

Lord Of The Past: A Compilation, 1989