Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk


Tuesday March 15, 2011

How many of you reading my jlog today have heard the saying “Don’t cry over spilled milk”. It’s not used much any more like the saying I sometimes use in my counseling “one swallow doesn’t make s summer.” I think we have lost some of the wonderful common teachings that should be foundational stones in our relationships with one another. “Don’t cry over spilled milk” refers to not staying stuck on mistakes we have made, but learning from them and moving on in our lives and relationships.

I came across another passage in II Samuel 14:14 that applies to our connecting with relationships today. The backdrop of the story centers on David’s son Absalom who in the past had let his anger get the best of him and killed one of his brothers for raping his sister two years previously.   Absalom fled from his homeland and was a refugee for three years. David longed to see his son Absalom, but did nothing to bring him back into the country. He had gotten over the death of his son Amnon whom Absalom had killed. Yet David didn’t take any steps to reconnect with Absalom.

So a woman is prompted to come to David and set up a story similar to his own about two sons, one of which killed the other. She finishes her story by saying, “Like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die. But that is not what God desires; rather, he devises ways so that a banished person does not remain banished from him (II Samuel 14:14).” The woman says that our lives are like water when it is spilled out on the ground. The time we have expended today can never be gathered up again. It’s gone. The time I have been given this morning is gone. Each and every second we have lived in the past is gone forever. The disconnects we have with our marriage, our children, our friends, our God have gone and can never be reclaimed. I don’t know about you, but if we stop and just think about that, it is very depressing.

Yet the passage continues by saying that God wants us as much as possible to reconnect with those relationships that have been disconnected. It is our responsibility to seek reconciliation with those we have been estranged with. In the case of David, he needed to seek to reconnect with his son that he longed for but had done nothing to reestablish that connection. It’s like crying over spilled milk. We can’t do anything about the milk that is spilled, but we can put our energy into taking care of the milk that we still do have.

This week I am by myself and am beginning to really enjoy looking at my life and what I want to do to make the most of the rest of my life. The past life is gone. The present and the future is all I have. This journey is one where we make the most of the steps we take today by living for today and the future.

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About James Gorton

I am happily married to Nadine, a person I've known for 20+ years. She and her late husband owned Airpark Auto Service where I took my car for years. Four years after my wife died we began dating and the rest is history. We have a blended family of 6 children between us and love visiting them across this country. We recently had our third grandchild between us. We love to hike, bike and ski. I am a psychologist and do relational life coaching for marriages and families primarily. I love what I do and never get tired of seeing marriages and families move to more healthy places in their lives. Five years ago my oldest daughter Deborah encouraged me to begin writing my thought into a blog I call my Jlog (Jim's log). I have become more and more passionate in connecting everyday experiences to spiritual truths. I hope that as you read my Jlog, you will gain insight into your personal life and experience true growth in your personal and relational life.
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One Response to Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk

  1. Pam Smith says:

    I read that this week, too. Enjoy your quiet week.

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