Truth: What is one thing that you regret doing so far in your life?
Ouch. One thing I regret? Answering this one hurts a little. There are so many things that bring the word “regret” front & center into my mind. Looking back, I realize those choices I made have shaped me into the person I am today. God’s grace has played a major part in letting go of those regrets.
There is one that sticks out over all the rest. It was October 1996.
I was 24 years old & living in Maryland. My grandmother was sick & she was in the hospital in North Carolina. Her name was Erma but everyone called her Grandmother Pete. I talked to her on the phone on a Friday morning. I wanted to hop in my car & drive 8 hours to see her, to hug her & sit with her. She told me not to do that. That she would be fine. I insisted. She resisted. I consented. We said our “I love you’s” & “see you soon at Thanksgiving”.
Later that day, I left with several of my friends to go on a retreat in Massanutten, Virginia.
Saturday afternoon, the phone rang. Grandmother Pete passed away early Saturday morning. Our “I love you’s” & “see you soon” only lasted 12 hours.
I regret allowing my grandmother’s stubbornness keep me from getting in my car to drive those 8 hours so that I could have seen her one last time. To hug her neck. To hold her hand. To hear her laugh. To love.
It took me a long time to allow God’s grace to cover this regret.
Just one? Are regrets the things that you wish you had done that you didn’t do… or the things you wish you had not done at all… because there’s a big difference.
Am I supposed to share the one biggest mistake that I committed? Before I do that… I need to investigate the statue of limitations in a couple areas first… j/k. #kinda
I could list plenty of things I regret doing… but those things are fortunately forgiven by God, and I don’t carry around that shame anymore… consequences yes… shame no. So if you want me to share my biggest mistake in life… email me. I’ll tell ya… right after you tell me your biggest mistake.
Of all the things that I regret not doing… I know, the “right” answer is… “I regret not asking Caroline to marry me sooner.” I don’t know why it took me 7 years to figure it out… I guess I’m a slow learner… but that’s a different story for a different day.
My real answer… I regret not thinking about death everyday. Let me explain.
It seems like only on my death bed will I really look back and wish I would have done things differently… but if I were to think about my death daily, then maybe I would …
… have the courage to live a life true to myself… not the life others expect of me.
… not work so hard.. and spend more time on things that matter.
… have stayed in touch with the friends from all the different states we have lived.
You would think, that thinking about our death every day would be depressing, but I’ve discovered that the opposite is true.
Remember Ebenezer Scrooge? He wasn’t changed by reflecting on his past or even by discovering how others viewed him in the present… he was only really changed when he came to terms with his own death.
We rightly associate Easter with life… but Jesus’ whole mission was about defeating death. He had to face death before He could defeat it… and so must we.
It might sound morbid… but I want to think about death everyday. If I had… I wonder how different, exciting, impactful, adventurous, ridiculous, scary, challenging, and meaningful my life might have been.
What about you? Have a regret you’d like to share?