If you think what you do now won’t matter in the future…think again. Tonight I tasted my husband’s peach-flavored refresher and thought, “Ick.” He later asked if I wanted a sip to which I said, “No.” He asked, “What? You don’t like it?” Then, with a knowing and loving look, he said, “I know…I remember.” He was not even part of my life when the aversion began, but after sharing life together for over 25 years, he knows what is important to me.
As a worldly non-Christian college student, I made some decisions that I’m not proud of, nor decisions I would like to see my own children make. One particular night, my drink of choice was a peach-flavored alcohol. My decision that night led to an overindulgence that resulted in a very unpleasant night and next morning. After that night, I vowed to never do that again. I know that some reading this may feel that this is exactly why drinking is bad. It may suprise you that “that” is not my point here. To drink or not to drink is a choice each adult has to make within the framework of whom they are spending time with and their own Biblical conviction. For instance, while I may enjoy a glass of wine here or there, it is not part of my usual pattern and I won’t do so around someone who struggles with alcohol.
The things we do, and choices we make, have a lasting impact. Ever since the night in question, I have never enjoyed peach flavor. I can’t tolerate the smell, taste and hardly even the word. I don’t typically think about it, athough I am glad I have the memory. What I did over 25 years ago effects me and my decisions today. Every choice has consequences – good and bad ones. This can be a paralyzing thought if you dwell on the fact that we can never undo what we’ve done, nor unhear or unsee what we’ve heard or seen. But, I think instead it should give us hope. Hope in knowing that God uses imperfect people to do great things.
My bad choices definitely don’t look like they did when I was in my early 20s, yet, still today I do fail and make some bad choices – how I start my day, how I spend my time, treat my kids, talk to my husband, etc. I think what matters is that we don’t waste the lessons from those choices. I need to be sure to quickly learn from my mistakes. Then, and only then, can I grow. Wisdom comes from that growth. Clearly, I would not advocate making bad choices just to have a lesson; but, don’t lose out on the teachable moment that can come from them.
Over the years, I’ve learned lessons that have molded me into me. Because I let some important friendships fade away, I’ve learned to be intentional with my close friends by nurturing them to stay strong – even when there is a great distance. That’s a win for me. Because I did not always choose to hang around men who treated a woman with love and respect, I appreciate the blessing of my strong, committed and faithful husband. I am blessed. Because I have sometimes yelled foolishly at my kids, I have been able to see the blessing of their generous forgiveness and changes to my parenting. Because I made a dumb choice that night and now have a strong peach flavor aversion – Ick, I know that I don’t ever want to put myself in such a vulnerable, out-of-control position. I want to be a living testimony. My past and the lessons I have learned from it, have made me into the woman I am today. My past may not be all pretty, yet God accepted and accepts me – flaws and all.
Note: Title assistance from my adult daughter who proofs for me. 🙂