There is an old legend about three men. Each man carried two sacks–one sack tied in front of his neck and the other sack resting on his back.
When the first man was asked what was in his sacks, he said, “In the sack on my back are all the good things friends and family have done for me. That way they’re hidden from view. In the front sack are all the bad things that have happened to me and all the mistakes I’ve made. Every now and then I stop, open the front sack–containing all the bad things that have happened to me–take the things out, examine them, and think about them.” Because he stopped so much to concentrate on all the bad stuff in his life, his pace was slow and he made little progress.
When the second man was asked about his sacks, he replied in exactly an opposite way. “In the front sack are all the good things that have happened to me,” he said. “I like to see them, so quite often I take them out to show them off to people and reminisce.”
“But what about the sack in the back?” he was asked. He answered, “I keep all my mistakes, all my regrets in there and carry them all the time. Sure they’re heavy. They slow me down, but you know, for some reason I can’t put them down.”
When the third man was asked about his sacks, he answered in a slightly different way. Like the second man he answered, “The sack in front is where I keep all the blessings I’ve experienced–all the great things other people have done for me. The weight isn’t a problem In fact, it keeps me moving forward.” A God Provide
But, as for the second sack, he answered, “The sack on my back is empty. There’s nothing in it. I cut a big hole in its bottom. Then I put all my regrets and all my mistakes from my past in that sack. They go in one end and out the other, so I’m not carrying around any extra weight at all.” A God Nod
I believe that is a good story for us as we get ready to begin Lent next Wednesday. We all carry around hurts and regrets that weigh us down. This Lent will be a great time to cut a hole in our sack and let those hurts and regrets fall through so that we can focus on the good things that have happened in our lives.