I find myself saying that quite often. And it always follows on from when something has gone wrong. I do the post-mortem.
Why did I do that? Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time.
It might have been an impulse buy. It could have been a career decision. It may have just been a choice of route on a journey. But if things go wrong, I will ask the question and I will answer… it seemed like a good idea at the time.
The end of Genesis finds Joseph and the family safe and sound in Egypt. They have survived the famine, found one another and now have enough to eat. They can settle down and watch The Ankh Factor. Everything seems fine and all is well. Of course, as we’ll find out, things don’t stay that way, and very tough times are ahead. All because they have moved to Egypt. Well, with the famine and all that, it seemed like a good idea at the time.
The big picture
One advantage we have when reading the Bible is that we can see the big picture, the whole story of the Bible, yes the Big Bible. We know that without moving to Egypt, God wouldn’t have been able to redeem his people. And that is quite important when it comes to the creation of the Hebrew nation and for God’s ultimate redeeming act through the incarnation.
But that doesn’t take away any of the pain, hurt and despair that went with the later generations’ time in Egypt. It may have been great for Joseph and the family, a really good idea at the time, but several generations as slaves will have led some to ask, ‘why did they do that?’
This is another of the things I love about the Bible. It is messy. It deals with real people and real people’s lives. We still make decisions that may look good at the moment, but down the line may lead us to wonder what on earth we were thinking.
I recently had to make a big decision. The decision I made seemed like the right decision at the time. I’m not sure what will happen over the next few months, as repercussions from that choice work their way out. I may end up regretting it at some point, or not, I don’t know. Things may go well, or they may go very wrong.
At the end of Genesis things are looking good for Joseph et al. In a few chapters things will go from bad to worse. Throughout it all though, good times and bad, the people believe in God. They are not always happy with what is happening, but belief is part of their DNA.
That’s one good thing about belief and its close friend faith. They don’t need a specific time or circumstance. They always seem like a good idea.