Kerry Scott Baldwin

Kerry Scott Baldwin

Today is the first day of the rest of your life. How often do you take a timeout and think about the big picture? Time steadily moves along. Someday you may ask yourself, when did my wild oats become shredded wheat?

Aging is no respecter of persons. Nobody can press rewind and start life over. We only come this way but once.

Whatever goals and dreams you have yet to accomplish must be from this point in time forward. Your whole future starts now!

Where you have been is important, but it’s where you’re going that really counts. Living in the past often leads to regrets and dissatisfaction. Some people dwell on the thought that they should have done this or should have done that. That’s not reality. That’s wishful thinking. “Should haves” don’t count! Human history would be vastly different if the clock could have been turned back.

Each day of the calendar is permanently retired as the past. Our actions, our words, our decisions actually happened, no matter how good or bad. Even things that we might be the only person on the planet to know about are recorded in Heaven. Regrets are here to stay, at least on Earth. However, God gives second chances and we can have a clean slate.

We may have not gotten it right the first time. It’s been said, “The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese!”

“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.” (Acts 3:19) That does sound refreshing! We all need to repent. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17) Verse 20 calls these people “Christ’s ambassadors.” What an honor and a responsibility.

There’s a song entitled “Take My Life” that goes, “How many times have I turned away? The number is the same as the sand on the shore. Every time You’ve taken me back. And now I pray You’ll do it once more. Please take from me my life when I don’t have the strength to give it away to You, Jesus.” (Third Day)

Yes, life does have peaks and valleys. The “should haves” usually arise out of the valleys and make us feel regretful. Jesus wants to share in the good and the bad times. He wants to bring joy into our ho-hum lives.

My grandpa gave me a poem titled, “Previous Gladness.”

“There was a little dachshund once, so long he had no notion, the time it took from head to tail to register emotion. And so it was that when his face was filled with tears and sadness, his little tail kept wagging on because of previous gladness.” (Author unknown)

Take a break and focus on where you’ve been and, as Microsoft used to ask, “Where do you want to go today?” My answer is to the feet of Jesus. I hope to meet you there. Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift, that’s why we call it “the present.”

Jesus promised, “I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.” (John 16:22) “Should haves” don’t exist in Heaven.

Remember, today really is the first day of the rest of your life. Make it a spectacular one with a happy ending.

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Kerry Scott Baldwin is an Elder of the Pacific Union College’s Seventh-day Adventist Church.