Missed Chances

My heart is set on keeping your decrees to the very end.

Psalm 119:112 NIV

Someone says, “Suppose your Christian faith is a delusion. Suppose you close your eyes for the last time and that’s all there is. Think of all you will have missed because you stuck to all those stupid rules.”

Missed? Yes, I will have missed making a fool of myself in a drunken stupor at a party. Or worse, killing someone while driving with one too many drinks under my belt. Missed? Yes, missed sexually abusing my children, or having sex with twenty or thirty other women than my wife in an increasingly frantic attempt to prove my manhood. Missed? Yes, missed abandoning my wife and children because “that’s just not fun.” Missed? Yes, missed living a lonely, self-absorbed life on a private island in the Bahamas with illegal millions sequestered in an off-shore account. Missed? Yes, missed dropping $100,000 on the slots at Vegas. Missed? Yes, missed shuttling between luxury apartments and mansions all bought with money I had cheated my business partners out of.

Do you know what? Because of Jesus I have missed ruining these few short years given to me. Thank God! Because of Jesus I have had a satisfying, fulfilling career with a wonderful woman who has loved me unreservedly all these years. Because of Jesus, she and I have three whole, optimistic, confident children who are raising children like themselves. Because of Jesus, I am healthy and well. Because of Jesus, I can look back without regrets and instead, with overflowing gratitude. It is these realities that convince me that, indeed, this faith is not a delusion, and that when I close my eyes for the last time on this earth, it will be to open them to an eternity of joy. But even if that were not so, following the instructions for living found in the Bible would still be the smartest thing a person could do. So –  “My heart is set on keeping your decrees to the very end!”

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