July 20

Written by Bill Grandi on July 20th, 2020

Have you ever played the “If only” game?  I suspect we all have.

  • If only I had married someone different.
  • If only I hadn’t had that first drink or that first smoke or that first snort. 
  • If only I hadn’t bought that item.
  • If only I hadn’t let my responsibility slide.
  • If only my list would end. 🙂

Yeah, I suspect we have all had those moments of regret. Martha had a case of the “if onlys” when Jesus finally arrived on the scene in Bethany. Lazarus had already died and Martha looked at Jesus and said, “If only you had been here my brother would not have died.”

The problem with our “if onlys” is we tend to look at them from the worldly perspective. We see the here and now. We see the consequences of a choice we made years ago. I recently read the memoir of Jonathan Cain, a member of the rock group Journey. By his own admission his double life came back to haunt him in the breakup of his second marriage to his children’s mother. The consequences of choices made and actions taken broke up his marriage. That’s a perfect time to say “if only.”

As hard as it is we must move on from the “if onlys.” I know for some that is harder than for others. But if we don’t, we will forever live with regret. What happened can’t be changed. What can be changed is our response to our choices and the ensuing actions. We can forever be a slave to them or we can choose to be free.

“Father, I can’t change the ‘if onlys’ in my past. But I can change-with your help-how it affects me. Help me to overcome those regrets from my past.”


2 Comments so far ↓

  1. We’ve all had our share of those “if onlys,” Bill. But yes, the best way to deal with them is to leave them in our past and trust God to help us make wiser and better decisions going forward.

  2. Crystal says:

    Thanks for sharing this. So very true – the “ifs” and “why’s”, though we all seem to have to spend a bit of time fighting in that muck and trash, are never helpful. There came a point where I had to choose to trust and place my hand in the hand of the “Good, Good Father” and instead ask “what now?”/”what’s your plan from here?” Ironically He has a way of turning that historical junk into a future tool through which He can speak His message of hope to others still stuck in their “histories”. Blessings, and again – thanks for the reminders 🌞