I remember a good movie a few years back about a man who's contract job was to, by invitation, come into a company and fix things. Mismanagement and greed had taken a toil as ethical corners were cut. The resulting issues were a jumbled mess of political, legal and interpersonal challenges, allowed to fester until things boiled over, company-wide.
We are personally every bit as complex, and as broken people, have at times left a wreckage of mistakes and consequences in our rearview mirror. How much do we affect others? For those closest to us, a lot, and not always positively. Our main mission as believers is to remain humble, teachable, and do our best to practice compassion, forgiveness, and grace. To constantly "circle around", clean up our messes and grow towards God. And the proof in the pudding - to change!
But how much can we “fix” our past? Relational regrets are bitter pills to swallow, and certainly dwelling on mistakes isn't healthy. Finding our own personal path to wholeness is hard enough, but when we don't see restoration in our way, or on our timeline, it can bring us to a pretty lonely place.
Well beyond us, the Holy Spirit is constantly "working the night shift" with our loved ones. But what's our role to play in God's redemption? His providential work includes certain boundaries in others, to be respected for sure. Others have their own baggage, unique challenges, and an identity that we should not try to manipulate.
To define and find our right influence is not easy, especially with inherent emotional entanglements of people closest to us. I don't have a lot of answers, but I do know it takes intentionality, courage, and great wisdom that only comes from sitting at the feet of the Lord, and seeking help from a few close and trusted friends. And it takes patience.
About the Author
Terry is a man in constant motion to explore new horizons. He has a thirst for new places and faces, and a deep love for the natural world - with a weakness for waterfalls and sunsets. All of this venturing out helps to both ground and inspire him, because it opens him up to people, with their vast, collective array of experiences, outlooks and responses.
He finds all of this fascinating and sees that it has encouraged the growth of something crucial in his Christian development: empathy and compassion toward his brothers and sisters on this planet.