Lent 2021 Day 27 – Do-overs are Not God’s Way

Interestingly enough, I read through a number of my previous Lenten journey postings and this one stood out to me – https://beyondtherim.meisheid.com/lent-06-day-20/. At its heart it is about God’s sovereignty, but it is also about a human failing we all have that has been overfed us by the video gaming industry and that is the idea of do-overs. You never really die in a video game, you just start over. Technically it is not a do-over because you don’t get to go back to a specific point in the game and make a different choice, you just get to play the game again, almost a do-over.

In our Christian life there have been times who would like to rewind our life to a certain point and make a different choice, set out life on a different path. I argue in that 2006 post that it is a useless quest. Here is an important point I made then.

So as I said before, do-overs and all the other second chance day dreams are a waste of time. Right this moment, this second, God’s perfect plan is advancing through time and history. Nothing better can or could have been achieved by anything being any different. He has worked it all out, including accounting for every decision everyone through all time has made, every act they chose to do: good bad, or indifferent.

That statement depends on you accepting a sovereign God. Any other option has God reduced to the universe’s best juggler, always trying to balance out our choice against his will. That might sound impressive to you but think about it. It turns God from the initiator of history to a responder to us, who are the real initiators of history through our choices.

We have to learn to accept that yesterday, all yesterdays, are gone. We will never have access to them to change anything about them, all science fiction aside. That is not God’s biblical design for the universe. We deal with the past one of two ways: repentance or celebration. Either way, the undergirding action is acceptance and the willingness to accept responsibility for our choices. I have come to believe that not wanting to accept the responsibility is at the root of wanting do-overs. If we change what happened, didn’t do it, then we do not have to bear the burden of our choice. Going back and changing something wouldn’t be repentance, which is more than admitting wrong, which Paul deals with in 2 Corinthians 7:10, “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.” Wanting to go back and fix it is worldly sorrow – making it as if it never happened.

God wants us to repent, accept responsibility, and move on with amendment of life. There is really no other option for the Christian.

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