Five Minute Friday: Collect

Along the Way @ mlsgregg.com

Gentle Reader,

Oh, my.

What a headache.

An evening stroll a some forbidden ibuprofen later, I feel close to being a human again. Not quite. I probably need to sleep for about fourteen hours for that to happen.

Kate wants to know what we: collect.

Go.

Usually when people ask me what it is that I collect, I respond with, “Nothing.” On the surface, that’s true. I do have six abdominal scars, but it’s not like I chose to have those. Aside from my beloved books, I feel passion for no material objects. Albums filled with stamps make no sense to me. Tchotchkes just gather dust. I tried collecting antique gloves at one point because I think they’re cool; I got as far as three pairs, but I had no idea how to display them, so into the giveaway bag they went. I even joke with my husband on a regular basis that we can probably throw away our marriage licence, since we never look at it.

Maybe it’s the OCD.

Maybe it’s that I can’t think in a cluttered space.

If I stop and really consider this question, though, there is something that I do indeed collect: regret.

The past haunts me. Past sin, past mistakes, past hurts, past left turns instead of right. It doesn’t help that I’m a history nut. Looking back is fun for me. But all too often, I get stuck there. On comes the self-condemnation. I need no one to stone me, for I stone myself.

Of this habit, Jen Wilkin writes:

Regret…causes us to dwell on past mistakes or hurts, robbing us of joy in our present circumstance and often dragging us back into old sin patterns. As a child I learned to sing the words of Charles Wesley: “He breaks the power of canceled sin, He sets the prisoner free.” How often have I needed those words as a reminder that the power of my past sins (or the past sins of others against me) is broken in Jesus’ name. He replaces my historical liturgy of sin with one of holiness. When I become discouraged about giving in once again to a past sin, the “lifter of my head” remind me that though I am not yet who I will be, I am not who I was. He draws me from the past back to the present with an assurance that sanctification is slowly doing its work today. He keeps me from rehearsing my past hurts by reminding me to forgive as I have been forgiven. We can combat the “bad news” of the past by remembering and trusting the good news of the gospel.

None Like Him, p. 75

There’s always something new to be find in the Good News.

This kind of collection weighs us down in a way that Christ never intended. The “sin that so easily entangles” (Hebrews 12:1) doesn’t have to be today’s sin. It can be the sin of the past, the stuff that makes us feel bad and heavy and stupid and so very worm-like. Dwelling in regret can keep us from running the race with perseverance – because our eyes are on the starting blocks instead of the finish line.

If we’re going to look back, then let’s see the red. The beautiful, amazing, life-giving, soul-saving blood of Jesus, splashed across every bad deed, every unkind word, every nasty thought, every pain-filled moment. The red that replaces the collection of regret and sorrow with a collection of grace and hope.

From that renewed viewpoint, let’s go forward and collect the joy that is ours by right of redemption.

Stop.

Yeah, this was longer than five minutes. Now enjoy this hymn.

Signature

Photo credit: Ryan Moreno

Also linking up with (for the first time): Suzanne Eller and Holley Gerth.

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24 thoughts on “Five Minute Friday: Collect

  1. I have a lot of regret in my life as well. Thank you for sharing so honestly about your struggle. So thankful for the clean slate we have in Christ. Blessings!

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  2. THIS: “If we’re going to look back, then let’s see the red. The beautiful, amazing, life-giving, soul-saving blood of Jesus, splashed across every bad deed, every unkind word, every nasty thought, every pain-filled moment. The red that replaces the collection of regret and sorrow with a collection of grace and hope.” You, my friend, are such a gift! I’m in the 3 spot this week!

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  3. Oh Marie!!
    I am stunned sitting here. You can take 30 minutes if I can hear God’s tender words through your delicate fingertips.
    You have directly blessed me tonight.
    Thank you, my dear dear friend!
    I love you and so wish for an in person meeting someday!
    Love,
    Tammy

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  4. Pity there’s not a ‘LOVE!!!’ button.

    Great post, Marie. There are things I regret – things of which I will never, ever speak – that sometimes bring me up gasping against the edge of life, leaving me looking into the abyss with a kind of longing.

    And then I have to crawl back from the brink. I should say that Jesus is guiding my steps, but it’s more complicated than that, and more heartbreaking.

    Hope you are feeling better on the other side of a sleep. God bless, my friend.

    #1 this week.

    https://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2017/07/your-dying-spouse-339-revelation-and.html

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  5. marie, so nice to meet you:) i’m your next door neighbor today and i LOVE your post! great quote from Jen Wilkin and I loved this quote: “If we’re going to look back, then let’s see the red. The beautiful, amazing, life-giving, soul-saving blood of Jesus, splashed across every bad deed, every unkind word, every nasty thought, every pain-filled moment. The red that replaces the collection of regret and sorrow with a collection of grace and hope.”
    i went on to read a little of your story and was touched too. i’m sure i’ll be back. GOD is so good about the way He finds us isn’t He? blessings:)

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    1. Hi, Martha! So glad you stopped by. As I grow older, I become more amazed at and humbled over the way Jesus came to find me, the lost, little, usually stupid sheep. His grace is great!

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  6. Marie,
    I so needed to read this. I am like you. I totally get this statement of no one need stone me, I stone myself.
    Thank you for the excerpt from Jen Wilkin.
    You have blessed me as usual!

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    1. It’s like we think we know better than Christ. “But, Jesus, You don’t know how bad I’ve been!” Sometimes I think He lovingly rolls His eyes at us. ❤

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  7. Moved too tears as the lyrics of this hymn I learned as a child echoed powerfully, “He breaks the power of cancelled sin, He sets the prisoner free, His blood can make the foulest clean, His blood avails for me.” “His blood avails for me.” Praise God. Thank you for your post, Marie.

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  8. You spoke to me where I’ve been living the past few days. How healing it is when we can share our broken bits with others. And thanks for reminding me of the words of that old hymn – one of my favorites.

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  9. “This kind of collection weighs us down in a way that Christ never intended. The “sin that so easily entangles” (Hebrews 12:1)…” One of my very favorite, go-to scriptures… Hebrews 12:1 Thank you, Marie! I always feel encouraged by reading your posts…. really I sense you write your heart. Thank you!

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  10. Glad I stopped by this site. Your post caused me to think about what I collect and like you I can collect regrets for there are plenty to collect. Right now I am regretting something I said the other day to a friend of mine. I said too much on a certain subject. We cannot put the words back into our mouth but we can sure add, please forgive me to hopefully take away the sting of the words. Great post.

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