A Checkered Past—A Bright Future

For a long time I’ve loved the game of checkers otherwise known as ‘draughts.’ It was in high school at recess time that my affinity for the game began. I must say it took a while for me to master the game. But when I did I was hard to beat. At least so I was told. Maybe my competitors were just decent. At one time I actually made my own draught board. With the help of my woodwork teacher I put together a board, painted it, and cut a broomstick into pieces to make knobs. I also got a piece of glass to put on top the board so that the knobs could slide easily. This was a ‘super sized’ board. And I was proud of it. Little did I know that the game I loved would so aptly describe my immediate future.

Some say confession is good for the soul. Others sometimes ask why dig up the past? Things aren’t always easy to resolve. Like a relationship gone sour. A bitter quarrel or worse an emotional wound. Are some things really better unsaid? In a biblical context what does it mean to make one’s calling and election sure? Does it mean an effort to make all things right? But what if there’s that someone who’s holding a grudge or trying to get even rather than forgive? Sure, God forgives. But is that the only forgiveness we need? Some say when you ask for forgiveness from God that he not only doesn’t remember what he has forgiven but that our sins are buried in the ocean with a sign that says, ‘no deep-sea diving!’

Yet, while God forgets we often remind ourselves of our past failures or misdeeds. Maybe this is helpful to prevent recurrence. Often we hear some say, well he/she has always been that way. They can’t change. Some even quote scripture to say, ‘can an Ethiopian change his skin or a leopard his spots?’ I dare say that only God can.

So what’s my message in all of this? It’s whatever it could mean to you. Yes I am truly sorry for any wrong I’ve done. And I wish no harm to anyone who may have done me likewise. I heard a person say after what seemed like a bad break up, ‘well I don’t want to get back with that person but I sure don’t want to see them happy.’ Ouch. At times it seems we wish no rest for the ‘wicked.’ Like wishing a person no sleep who’s in a room full of mosquitoes. If you’ve ever experienced this you know what I mean.

Sometimes you wonder if no one else has done the stupid things you’ve done. Or is the stupid thing just admitting and owning up to your mistake? After a checkered past how could the future look bright? What’s the way out? When do you say, ‘hey I’m tired of messing up and regardless of the consequences I’m fessing up.’ Further, the things I used to do ‘I ain’t doing them no more.’ Then after confession comes what? Being sanctified may take a lifetime but it’s got to start somewhere. I can live in fullness of joy now knowing that where it matters my sins have been washed away. I can have a bright future if with God’s help I can move on and fulfill the plans He has for my life.

How about you? How does your future look? Are you still holding on to some things you wish no one ever finds out? Quit worrying. Cast your burdens on the One who can forgive all wrongs. Your future is bright because for all the crap you may have done you’re still valued, like a crumpled, stepped on $100 bill. Look up! To the shamed woman brought to the Master, He says after writing in the sand, ‘where are thy accusers? Go and sin no more.’ Claim that unmerited grace. The future will be bright!

playlist while editing: He Gotcha, by Virtue (Fearless album)

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