To allow feelings of regret to overwhelm us can be a dangerous thing. Regret or guilt can make us look at our life the wrong way.
How many times have you wished you had a chance to do something over again. You say to yourself, “If I only had those circumstances back again so that I could make the right decision this time.” Or perhaps you look at your present situation from a negative point of view, and you find there is nothing you can do about what had occurred. You feel unhappy and discouraged. But maybe what God is asking of you is not so much to try and change the circumstances, but rather, to change yourself: It is not the exterior circumstances that must change; it is above all your hearts that must change. They must be purified of their withdrawal into themselves, of their sadness, of their lack of hope.
Let’s face it, we all like to spend a little time whining about something. It’s like blowing off a little steam or venting. It can actually be a healthy thing—in moderation. But when that’s all we do that can be a problem for us. And who wants to be around someone who does nothing but complain all day? And maybe we’re that person and we don’t even realize it!
The Easter message for today is this: God doesn’t just give us one chance for salvation and that’s it. Yes, we can mess things up and miss the opportunity the Lord provides for us. We can waste our energy wanting the wrong things and making important the very opposite of what God wants us to value. So, what does God do when we “blow a chance” at conversion or transformation? Does God say, “sorry, but you’re I’m done with you.” I tried but you’re hopeless.” No. God very patiently waits and offers us another opportunity—another chance.
It’s important for us to know this and take comfort in it. It’s also important to realize that many of the circumstances that you thought negative and damaging are, in fact, from God’s perspective, a powerful means for helping you to progress and grow.
John of the Cross, the great 16th-century mystic, says that “It is very often the case that just when the soul believes itself lost that it gains and profits the most.” There is great truth in this insight. Our focus is very often clouded over by that which is not going well, by those things that we wish could be different and as a result, we lose a sense of the positive and the possible.
St. Peter says to those who crucified Christ: “The author of life you put to death…now I know that you acted out of ignorance…but God has brought to fulfillment what he announced before hand through the mouth of the prophets…”
other words, God has made use of your mistakes. It was all part of the plan that events would happen the way that they did. Notice that Peter doesn’t say this because they had made a bad decision and were done in the eyes of God. Peter says: “Repent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away.”
Don’t go through life with nothing but feelings of regret and guilt. God is interested in your salvation and will do all he can for you. So, let God, through His Son, Jesus Christ, help you grow in your friendship with the Father and be open to the possibility of another chance to be healed and to be saved.