My father once relayed a story to me about a decision he had made as a young man that he had later grown to regret. He had saved some money to buy a brand new 1961 Chevy Impala, while a 100+ acre farm had come available to purchase as well. The purchase price for the car was nearly the same amount required to buy the land, which was just under $4000. Although his father encouraged him to buy the farm, he just had to have that fast car. So, with visions of winning every race at the drag strip, he didn’t struggle much with the decision to choose to purchase the car. I am sure, at the time, none of his teenage buddies encouraged him to buy the farm; but, 30 years later, after gaining valuable wisdom, it was obvious he had made a huge mistake. He said, “Oh Boy, I should have listened to daddy and bought that land instead!” Since farming was our family’s only source of income, he needed all the land he could get, and that same farm was now worth well over $100,000.
Like my father, we have all made decisions that brought immediate gratification and happiness, but turned out to be the wrong choice. My grandfather was looking out for my father with wisdom, but my father was looking for the fun in the moment. Our Heavenly Father also has a plan for our lives with our best interest in mind, but it is up to us to follow Him rather than always following our feelings. How many times have we chosen to follow outside influences rather than following God, and ended up suffering because of it? Most likely it’s more times than we would like to mention.
There is no feeling or material possession that is worth trading for the plan of God. Every decision that leads us away from God will end in disappointment and regret, while every decision in compliance with God’s plan will lead to lasting joy and real fulfillment. True Godly wisdom will look beyond the temporary circumstances and make choices that will have eternal rewards. I’ve never performed a funeral for someone who had said they regretted serving God. Usually they communicate that they wish they would have done more for the Kingdom of God while they were able.
There is no time like the present to decide to follow the plan of God. Even if you have made a habit of following the desires of your flesh, today can be a fresh start. You cannot do anything to change the past but you can still have a bright future. God’s plan for you has not changed. He still loves you and is waiting on you to respond to His call to come follow Him. I promise that you will not regret yielding to His plan. Cry out to Jesus today! Tell Him that you want Him to be Lord and Savior in your life. Begin to follow the wisdom in His Word and even well beyond 30 years from now, you will still be thrilled with your decision! There is no greater investment!
“For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” — Romans 8:5-6 (NKJV)
Rev. Josh Vanhook is pastor of Word of Life Church at Mt. Gay and a member of the Logan Ministerial Association.