What if you could go back in time and change something that would forever alter your life?
What fork in the road shaped you as, perhaps subconsciously, you chose one way over the other? All things considered, would you take the other path?
I’d love to watch a movie of my life lived on the road not chosen. I know the exact point in time where I made a wrong turn. What would my life look like today had I taken a different route—a route that sent me toward God, rather than running away in rebellion for so many years?
A little passage from a 2,000 year old letter struck me this morning. It’s from the Apostle Paul to his young protege, Timothy. It’s straight-forward and absolutely timeless. I wish I’d read and understood it decades ago:
2 Timothy 3:16-17: “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.”
Scripture isn’t just a “nice to have” story about the olden days; it’s God Himself guiding us as we navigate our day-to-day lives.
I wonder what my life would have looked like if I’d found and followed the Lord 40 or 50 years ago?
The good news is that I’ve finally gotten to the place in my spiritual journey where I am no longer guilt-ridden over the coulda-woulda-shouldas. I’m happy with where I landed, and have forgiven myself for the often messy road I took to get here.
Yes, I wish I would have known so that I could have taught my kids so that they could have taught theirs. But they’ll figure it out, just as I did.
Still, I’d like to watch the movie of what life would have been like if I’d made a serious turn toward God when I was young, rather than heading down the path I did.
Would I change it if I could? I don’t know how to answer that. Because while I’m sure that God’s road would have taken me in a different direction, I can’t imagine who I would be right now if I’d missed all the people and learning experiences that brought me here. Despite all of the twists and turns I took, I believe I ended up exactly where God wants me in this moment.
A song from MercyMe explains it perfectly. Give a listen to Dear Younger Me:
Good morning, Father. Thank You for giving me this time to delve into all that You have to say to me in Scripture. I love connecting the dots at last—understanding where I went wrong, but also recognizing how You picked me up and turned me around. My own personal history with You gives me confidence that You’ll do the same for my kids and theirs, who You love just as much as You love me.
Thank You for Your patience with all of us, and for teaching us—eventually…one way or the other—what “living well” really means. Thank You for preparing and equipping me for every good work You still have for me at this point of life. I pray all of this in Jesus’ name. Amen.