I saw the movie La La Land two nights ago, and I absolutely loved it. I thought it was beautiful, powerful, emotional, theatrical, just all the “uls”; and maybe I’m a sappy romantic, but I totally saw myself in it. Especially at the end.
Everyone told me to prepare myself for the ending because it was so sad, but for some reason, I felt completely fine once it was over. It was actually more like the complete and perfect peace of God immediately washed over me. Now, don’t get me wrong. The story IS sad. I mean, who doesn’t love to wonder and dream sometimes about the way things could have been? It’s a fun alternative to living in the way things are now.
But we were created to dream. We were NOT created to regret. And dreaming about what could have happened in the past is regret because it is not reality. It is fantasy.
I realized at the end of this movie that, unlike Sebastian, I don’t have to imagine how my life “could have” been or what “could have” happened with sorrow. Why not? Because, if I truly want God’s will for my life (and I do), and if I have truly tried to be obedient to His still small voice in all things (I have), what’s in the past is in the past. I may not have fully understood it, but He saved me from it: particularly in Him cutting people out of my life that weren’t supposed to be there, and in Him leading ME to cut people out of my life that weren’t supposed to be there. If I have heard His voice and followed Him, what is there to look back on?
Regret is a fear-filled word. Similar to Sebastian’s scenario, it comes from fear and sorrow that you have made a wrong decision. But wait a second. Doesn’t the Bible say that God’s perfect love literally casts out fear? Perfect love casts out fear because fear involves torment (1 John 4:18). Torment that you’ve done something – anything – to completely alter the trajectory of your entire life. Things were supposed to go one way, but now, thanks to you, everything is wrong.
No. I’m sorry, but THAT’S wrong. You are not powerful enough to wreck God’s plans for your life. How do I know that? Because He says that His plans are to prosper you, and not to harm you (Jeremiah 29:11). He also says, “I the Lord do not change; therefore, you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed,” or destroyed by your failures (Malachi 3:6). No matter what decisions I make, He leads me in the way I should go because I trust in Him (Isaiah 48:17). Whether I turn to the right or to the left, sincerely trying to follow His will for my life, my ears are going to hear His voice behind me saying, “This is the way; walk in it” (Isaiah 30:21).
I have a loving God who sees me and knows me. He knows the desires of my heart, and He not only is intimately acquainted with all of my ways, but He knows the end from the beginning of all that there ever was to know, and His plans for me are good! Are you kidding me? To top that, I have His Holy Spirit – God Himself – literally living inside of me, which means I have 100% and 24/7 access to a Resource of wisdom and understanding that is far beyond anything I could ever attain or achieve for myself in this world. I don’t even have the capacity to figure my future out on my own, yet God not only already KNOWS what is best for me and is leading me into that, but He wants what’s best for me even more than I do. This means that, if I am living inside of His will, I don’t EVER have to live inside of any regrets. His ways are higher than my simple ways, and His thoughts are higher than my simple thoughts (Isaiah 55:8).
I love the Lord because I don’t ever have to strive to figure things out. I just get to walk in obedience. And He doesn’t leave me alone. When I seek Him, He will always lead me into what I’m supposed to do, where I’m supposed to go, and who I’m supposed to be. The world will always be afraid of missing it, but I don’t have to be. My Pastor (Pastor Dustin Bates) sums it up by saying: “What looks like risk to the world, is obedience to God.”
I still want to dream, but not in a way that pulls me back into a past that is over and done, and from things that He’s already set me free from. The reason why I felt God’s perfect peace after watching La La Land, even in the saddest scene, was because He was gently showing me that I am in the center of His will for me and moreover, that He also still protects and blesses those who are not in His will for me. Therefore, I will continue to be obedient to His voice in all things, I will continue to move forward, and I will continue to dream. I know that I will see the fruit of it in my future.