Does Life Have A Reset Button?
Several years ago, I saw a billboard for an attorney's office that was extolling the virtues of bankruptcy at the onset of a new year. It displayed a huge photo of a video game console and posed the following question below the photo in large letters: "Don't you wish life had a reset button? It does."
On the surface, it seems like a pretty good idea if, when things started to go poorly, you could just push the reset button on life like you can on a video game. But would it, really?
What if all of our mistakes, missteps, and misdeeds were actually part of our journey? What if all of the things we wish we could undo, reset or do over were absolutely essential in making us the people we are today, and shaping us into the people that God dreams for us to become?
I once told an older pastor friend of mine that I wished I hadn't spent so many wasted years before figuring out what I was supposed to do with my life. "If I'd only got started sooner," I told him. "I wasted so much time, so many years doing worthless things." He laughed when I told him all of this.
"God doesn't waste anything," he said with a knowing smile. "He knew you weren't ready for what he had in store, and he also knew that you needed some shaping and molding before you would be." He went on to say that all of the experiences I'd had--even the bad ones--had prepared my heart, my character, and my spirit for the path God had for me.
I think the idea of a life-reset button is appealing but we often mistake the idea of resetting life with the concept of getting a second chance. None of the things that we've done or even the things that have been done to us have been wasted. All of life's challenges, triumphs, mistakes, and choices have helped shape us and prepare us for the path ahead.
God can take even the worst things that have happened in our lives and redeem them for God's glory. God, as it turns out, is still in the resurrection business--raising to new life what we would consider dead and gone. Life doesn't have a reset button. But we do have a God who loves to dole out second chances to his beloved children.
May you embrace the great opportunity of this new year before you. May you find true joy in the knowledge that God doesn't waste anything in making you into the person you are becoming. May you take your second chance and run with it.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and forever. Amen.