Suddenly, I'm not half the man I used to be...

As I sat in the stands of my cousin's high school graduation ceremony, memories of my own came flooding back. The sense of wonder and excitement. The expectation that we would be the class that everyone remembered.

I remember all of the things that I wanted to do.

Not once did I consider failure. Or not accomplishing my dreams.

But one by one the opportunities came and one by one I let them pass.

I remember feeling like I had my whole life ahead of me, that I had plenty of time.

I think back now to all of the moments I wasted, to all of the poor decisions I've made. And I can't get those back.

All of that is why I am on this journey. I may never be a children's book author or live in Chicago or New York, but I or more correctly, my Lord, can change the course of my life. I can "Trust in the Lord with all" my "heart and lean not to" my "own understanding. In all" my "ways acknowledge Him and he will make" my "paths straight."

I very much identify with Jonah when he was in the belly of the fish. The prayer he prayed is so amazing to me. Especially the line "Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs." I can't imagine anything, anywhere that would be worth giving up His grace. I do know that at one point or another I have made that devestating choice.

Jonah 2
From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the LORD his God. He said: "In my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me. From the depths of the grave I called for help, and you listened to my cry. You hurled me into the deep, into the very heart of the seas, and the currents swirled about me; all your waves and breakers swept over me. I said, 'I have been banished from your sight; yet I will look again toward your holy temple. 'The engulfing waters threatened me, the deep surrounded me; seaweed was wrapped around my head. To the roots of the mountains I sank down; the earth beneath barred me in forever. But you brought my life up from the pit, O LORD my God. "When my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, Lord, and my prayer rose to you, to your holy temple. "Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs. But I, with a song of thanksgiving, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. Salvation comes from the Lord." And the LORD commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.

The past is gone, I will no longer allow it to define my destiny. By the grace of God, I am released from the shackles of my own sin..

I will cling desperately to His grace, and with a song of thanksgiving, I will live a life of worship. I will take the next step in my journey.

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