There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven. (Ecclesiastes 3:1, NIV)
As we approach midlife, the anticipation of our youth gives way to somber reflection about the different seasons of our lives. Happy memories of meaningful relationships, cherished belongings, and the fulfillment derived from a job well done can become a source of pain and disappointment if we dwell on what used to be. There comes a time when we must lay aside the past in order to move on to a brighter and more fulfilling future. That is easier said than done.
We are told in the third chapter of Ecclesiastes that there is a time for everything…a time to be born and a time to die, a time to laugh and a time to mourn, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing. There also comes a time when we must let go. Whether that means saying goodbye to a loved one who has left us or putting a dream on the back burner, life has a way of changing the status quo. If we are not careful, our memories will become idols and we will become so obsessed with the past that we can longer function in the present.
God intends for His children to live full and abundant lives one day at a time, without regret for the things that have passed or dread of what might come. As we confess our sins, God is faithful to forgive us so there should be no cause for regret, only the resolve to learn the lessons life teaches us and press on to God’s high calling for our lives. If we remain fettered by our past, we risk the chance of missing out on His perfect plan and purpose for our lives.
There comes a time to release that which we hold tightly. Only when we open our hands to let go can we receive the blessings God has in store.