This morning I learned a very important lesson in both life and theology from my four-year-old.
He said to me, in that confident kid voice, "I can do anything!"
Then added, in just as confident of a voice, "That God wants me to."
I can do anything... that God wants me to.
I thought, then, of dozens of times in my life when I have wanted something desperately, tried for it to the best of my ability, sometimes even well beyond the reach of what I logically should have done, and still failed. Competitions lost. Relationships that didn't work out. Jobs I was rejected from. Even those all-too-normal, frustrating days when I work as hard as I can all day, only to look around at the end and instead of seeing a job well done, feel overwhelmed by all that is left undone.
And for each of these things, I beat myself up, thinking that if I had just tried harder, worked longer, done better somehow, things would have been different.
I don't think I'm alone in this. I think everyone does it, lives with those regrets to some extent. It's part of the falleness of our human condition.
Which is why it's so freeing to realize the truth of those words: "I can do anything... that God wants me to."
Those things that I couldn't do? Those times that I failed? They weren't part of God's plan for me. He had something bigger, better, far more perfect in mind.
And it's not just me. God has a perfect plan for each of us. He can't wait to show us. It's just that the cynical world has gotten in the way for most of us... but not for my trusting, enthusiastic, four-year-old. Which is really what makes the whole thing so beautiful.
So take a lesson from him. Stop beating yourself up. Stop living in those regrets. Because you can do anything that God wants you to do. And the things that you can't do, well, those are just signs of something better that He has in store for you. Approach your life with enthusiasm and trust, and there will never be cause to fear.