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Consider this quote from Abe Lincoln

"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."



I spent some time over the weekend having a conversation with a young man who was preparing to give the most important speech of his life up to this point. While we were going over his ideas and tweaking things, he said to me “what is the thing you most struggle with?”. I thought this was an odd question to ask in the middle of speechwriting but I decided to play along with him to see what rabbit hole we were going down.

Now there are more than a few things that I struggle with from time to time, but I get frustrated quite often because I base how I feel many things will turn out from past experience. He said he understood that frustration, especially when people would tell him to leave the past in the past. That was certainly a light bulb moment for me and at that point I found myself trying to figure out what sage pieces of advice I could give him to get him back on task.

Honestly though, the more I thought about it, the more I began to really understand that there does come a point where you have to leave the past in the past. This is hard for me because I love history, but I decided to concentrate more on the fact that mistakes that we make in the past, or things we wished we would have done differently should be left there. For as humans, the things we often regret are probably more likely things that we shouldn’t have spent any time on at all. I don’t mean to say that there is never a place for self-reflection, rather we shouldn’t allow ourselves to get too bogged down it those things clear in the back of our collective closets that we stop taking chances and living our lives to the fullest.

As we enter in the final weeks of Lent, this is an important lesson here for all of us. Jesus doesn’t hold against you the emotional baggage you carry around with you. In your darkest hour, he will meet you wherever you are if you simply reach out to him. That’s not something we humans are used to I guess. We get so wrapped up in our own pity and self-loathing that we forget that it doesn’t take some grand gesture or getting completely square in your life to have a relationship with Christ. The fact that he will indeed reach out to take your hand the moment you reach for his speaks volumes about His unending grace and love for each one of us.

It can be strange sometimes how easy it is to overlook the epiphany moments when we are talking to other people. What started out as a speechwriting session turned into an opportunity for two friends to have a deeper conversation about life and the things that we don’t feel safe sharing in the daylight, which in the end was more important that whatever words filled that speech.

See you next week…remember, we’re all in this together.