I had not really planned on taking a trip this time of year, and yet I found myself packing rather hurriedly. This trip was going to be unpleasant and I knew in advance that no real good would come of it. I’m talking about my annual “Guilt Trip.”
I got tickets to fly there on WISH I HAD airlines. It was an extremely short flight. I got my baggage, which I could not check. I chose to carry it myself all the way. It was weighted down with a thousand memories of what might have been. No one greeted me as I entered the terminal to the Regret-Town International Airport. I say international because people from all over the world come to this dismal town. As I checked into the Last Resort Hotel, I noticed that they would be hosting the year’s most important event, the Annual Pity Party. I wasn’t going to miss that great social occasion.
Many of the towns leading citizens would be there. First, there would be the “Done” family, you know, “Should Have”, “Would Have” and “Could Have”. Then came the “I Had” family. You probably know ole’ “Wish I Had” and his clan. Of course, the “Opportunity Family” would be present, you remember them… “Missed and Lost”. The biggest family would be the “Yesterdays”. There are far too many of them to count, but each one of them would have a very sad story to share. Then “The Dreams” would surely make an appearance and their mother “Shattered” would share every problem in too much detail. And “It’s All Their Fault” would recount all the stories and excuses about how things had failed in his life, and each story would be loudly applauded by “Don’t Blame Me” and “I Couldn’t Help It.”
Well, to make a long story short, I went to this depressing party knowing that there would be no real benefit in doing so. And, as usual, I became very depressed. But as I thought about all of the stories of failures brought back from the past, it occurred to me that all of this trip and subsequent Pity Party could be cancelled… but only by ME! I started to truly realize that I did not have to be there. I didn’t have to be depressed. One thing kept going through my mind, I CAN’T CHANGE YESTERDAY, BUT I DO HAVE THE POWER TO MAKE TODAY A WONDERFUL DAY. I can be happy, joyous, fulfilled, encouraged, as well as encouraging. Knowing this, I left Regret-Town immediately and left no forwarding address.
Am I sorry for mistakes I’ve made in the past? YES! But there is no physical way to undo them. So, if you’re planning a trip back to this City of Regret, please cancel all your reservations now. Instead, take a trip to a beautiful place called, Starting Again. I liked it so much that I have now taken up permanent residence there. My neighbors, the “I’m Forgivens” and the “New Starts” are so very helpful. By the way, you don’t have to carry around heavy baggage, because the load is lifted from your shoulders as soon as you arrive. God bless you in finding this great town. And you can find it — it’s in your own heart.
The above was originally written in 2012 by our late pastor, Gary McSpadden. As I reread it this week it was very apparent that it is still just as relevant today as it was back then. Trust it made you smile as well as think about your own life. Have a truly blessed weekend.
The image shown with this writing is the Braided Choker Penny Necklace