Regret…I’ve been thinking about this lately. Not that I have many regrets, but I have some that’s for sure. In fact, I suspect most of us do. If I was to make it list I suppose it might look like this:
- I regret not pursuing further education when I was younger,
- I regret not having more patience raising our kids,
- I regret the money I should have saved when I could have,
- I regret not having that second cup of coffee…ok, that’s a few.
But most of my life, and the important decisions of my life carry no regret. Why? Well when I was around 18 I bumped into a man that was filled with regret. He was in his late 50’s, he was a professional, well respected in his field, he had his Ph. D. and he lived in a beautiful home. What he regretted was that he never followed the calling of God in his life. He confessed that when he was in his 20’s pursuing his education, he felt that God was calling him into Salvation Army officership. He didn’t say no…he just said not now. Then he repeated those words…again, and again until he found himself at a time and place where the Spirit of God had left him alone to pursue his dreams.
Late in his career, he was filled with regret, and I determined that I never wanted to be like that. I did not want to find that the years had taken a toll on my soul to that degree.
I have met others who lived with regret, some who tried to live vicariously through their children, and some who have tried to do as much good as they could…but their lives have taught me a lesson. Life goes by us once and the decisions we make give us the life we have.
In nearly 40 years of officership, I’ve listened to lots of people, seen many homes and families, dealt with conflict, disappointment, doubt, and fear in people’s lives. But of all those things regret has always brought me the greatest sense of loss… Loss for what could have been.
This is a new day, today the sun will rise once again whether you can actually see it or not. This is God’s gift to you to begin again! Today with a new slate, why not ask God to keep us keenly aware of His presence, to act on those promptings that God gives us, and to live lives that are filled with promise not regret.