One of the things that can be a joy-stealer is meditating on things that you cannot change. If you remember things from the past, rehearse what you “should have” or “could have” done to change things, you waste time and mental energy. Looking to your past can help you learn so that you don’t repeat things in the future. However, in order to move into the future with a joyful heart you must let go of the things in the past that you can’t change. That means forgiving others, forgiving yourself, and even releasing God from any false charges you have made against Him. You may think to yourself, I would never blame God for something. Yet sometimes our anger towards God is even hidden from ourselves.
Coming to the point of being real and honest with God will help you be real and honest with yourself. Life has a way of throwing curve balls at you. You may have gone through a divorce that you never wanted. You may have a spouse that was unfaithful to you. You may have had a loved one die in an accident. All sorts of things happen that can change your life in a moment. Learn to let go of those things you can’t change. Accept where you are even as you are presently even while you are on the road to your future.
Paul knew what it was to let hold of his past, live in his present, in order to lay hold of his future. He writes in Philippians 3:12-14,
“Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (NKJV).
Accepting the things in your life that you are unable to control or change does not mean that you are settling for the status quo. It simply means that you are honestly accessing where you are in order to more fully move into your future free of regret. Take a moment right now to come into God’s presence, asking Him to give you a fresh perspective of letting go of your past, living in your present and laying hold of your future.