Do you remember the TV drama "Felicity?" I never watched it much with it was actually on air, but now that it's being shown as a re-run on W Network I've been tuning in. Its airs at a great time for me - Saturday mornings at 10 a.m. - right when I'm planning out my day and enjoying my Saturday morning coffee. It's a frivolous drama really, but it's fun to watch none-the-less.
The episodes airing right now have been the ones that apparently led up to the end of the show. In these last few shows, Felicity (who has been journeying through her four years of university in the series) has finally graduated and is moving on in her life. But as her life moves on, and she discovers that her boyfriend (Ben) has cheated on her, she begins to wonder what her life would have been like if Noel (a friend and former beau) and her had gotten together instead. So, as only they can do on television, she travels back in time to that pivotal moment when she had made the choice to be with Ben, not Noel, in the hopes of changing that decision - thus ending up with Noel.
As the shows proceed, Felicity soon learns that you can't go back and change things without completely changing everything. As she starts tampering with the past, critical things that she knew about the future were being changed forever. She panics then when she realizes what she's done.
It all got me thinking about that dangerous question we often mull over... "what if?" We've all looked back at our past and wondered it... "what if I had chosen this major instead of that?" "what if I had moved here instead of there?" "what if I had dated him?" etc. I say it's dangerous because entertaining such thoughts can often - as in Felicity's case - ruin our future. We can get so caught up looking back, that we can miss the wonderful things right in front of us - the things that are real. Everyone has regrets in life, it's what makes us human, but those regrets are a valuable piece of who we are and what we have learned in life. Yes, I've often wondered what would have happened if I had said "yes" to that guy I had a huge crush on in high school, or if I had pursued a different career path; but then I look at what God did with those decisions, I can see His hand in it all. Looking back often allows you to see with 20x20 vision - looking back allows you to see what God saw all along.
"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'" ~ Jeremiah 29:11