February 27, 2020
Recently, I said to Carol, “I wish I could be 30 again and live the next decades with the life experience I have gained.” Obviously not an option, but I thought about what I might do differently if it were possible.
Creator God is in charge, but I appreciate Him more than I used to. The Bible has absolute authority, but I would be more careful to determine what God’s Word teaches versus what I believed was truth that was actually human preference. I would appreciate Carol just as much, but I would find ways to spend a lot more time with her. I would like to have learned the sweet relationship I enjoy with Jesus today many years earlier.
I grew up with a lot of legalistic thinking, which made me dogmatic and harsh in my expectations of myself and in my relationships with others. Learning to lean on guidance from the Holy Spirit and not force my ideas on others has been a journey. I wish that process had begun earlier in my experience.
I had to learn the difference between having anger toward sin and anger toward people. Theologically, I was stuck on certain beliefs that I now know are not that clearly taught in Scripture. I no longer think my view of the end times has to be the only one.
Perhaps the greatest wisdom I wish I had much earlier in life is the ability to accept and appreciate people with whom I disagree on many important subjects. To be a careful, respectful listener was not a part of my attitude when I was 30.
I do not try to relive the past, but I am continually grateful for God’s patience and that of Carol and other mentors. I am not the person I used to be and that is a good thing.
Pastor Bill Ehmann