Of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these, "It might have been."
One of the interesting things about getting older is you get to contemplate on the weird twists and turns your life has taken. I'm not the only one doing this, right?
I swear, at times it seems like that was a different person doing all that stuff in my past. It's not like, "What was I thinking?" but rather, "Who was that guy?"
I think I can honestly say it was a different person. Different certainly from the person I am today.
At the end of A Christmas Carol, Scrooge pleads with the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come saying, "I'm not the man I was." We can all say that (except you ladies, Renee Richards excluded), I guess.
In the book, Semi-Tough, Jets cornerback Dreamer Tatum steps into the Giants locker room to congratulate the Super Bowl winning team. Amidst the Giants' condolences that it could have gone either way, he utters the best line in English literature, "What coulda happened did."
Whittier was wrong. There are no alternate universes. No place where Lee made all the right moves at Gettysburg and Dixie is a reality (whatever that might entail) and not just a song.
Sadness, yes. For sins of omission as well as of commission. We repent of them both. I bear the weight and responsibility for these sins, as you do for yours.
But there is this:
As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good.... (Genesis 50:20a).
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)
Be it so.