Enjoying a steaming cup of dandelion coffee and reading the Sunday paper one morning I turned a page in the magazine section to a large advertisement with the amazing headline “Erases 10 Years in 10 Minutes!”. I think it was an attempt to sell a wrinkle remover, not the sort of thing I’m usually interested in (too late, always too late!), but the phrasing of the eye-catching banner stuck in my mind.
Would someone really want to erase the past ten years of their life? Or any ten years, for that matter.
Would I select any ten years to eliminate from my past? Not that I don’t have plenty of unpleasant years behind me, years filled with wrong choices, unpleasant circumstances, unhealthy habits and regrets. If I could wipe those years away, which ones would I choose?
Would I select the ten years leading up to my diagnosis of type 2 diabetes? Perhaps without those years of too little exercise, too much stress and emotional eating, I could have avoided the disease and it’s restrictive life-style.
Or I might discard the years following high school when I made the choice to drop out of college and marry my childhood sweetheart. That youthful mistake led to an early divorce and twelve years of being the struggling single parent of our son. There are certainly at least ten years during that time that I wouldn’t care to relive.
Rather than wiping away a decade, maybe I could go back over my whole life and just eliminate the ten worst individual years, or I could be even more selective and pick the 3,650 worst days, so as to avoid erasing some good times in the process of weeding out the bad.
The problem with any of these fantasy choices is that I can’t remember a single day of my life that didn’t hold moments of pleasure or joy or that didn’t teach me something I needed in order to face the days ahead. Some of the worst moments actually led to the greatest blessings. Even if I could tweeze out the unpleasant hours, minutes, or seconds, how could I be sure that I wouldn’t be eliminating a pivotal moment from a lifetime of experiences that made me who I am today?
I’m not perfect in either form or spirit, but I am comfortable with the woman I am becoming. I am confident that God has used, and is continuing to use, my circumstances, choices and heartaches to mold me into the woman he wants me to be. Every moment of my existence has held a lesson and a blessing from God.
I believe that God has a purpose for my life, for each person’s life, and that he uses our experiences to prepare us to fulfill his purpose.
Life is the great adventure. I wouldn’t want to have missed a moment.