As most kids, I had my share of elaborate make believe battles. It seemed like no tussle was won or lost without at least one person….well….perishing.
Now I realize how sexist what I’m about to say may seem, but I’m just callin’ it as I remember it. In my neighborhood, while the boys were offing one another by way of stick guns, switch swords and the occasional choking, the preferred means of a quick, painless death for the girls was….poison.
Depending on how long we were interested in the game, the poison could also serve as a sleeping potion. We laid on the ground motionless until satisfied we had passed for mortally incapacitated, then we would somehow muster up the strength to lift the antitode to our lips, declare the poison had “worn off” and we were up to play again until the next fateful sip from the make-believe vial
|verb /riˈgret/ regrets, 3rd person singular present; regretted, past participle; regretted, past tense; regretting, present participle
Occasionally you’ll hear someone say, usually near the end of some phase of life, or even life itself, that they leave with no regrets. The reasoning is that they are the result of the sum of their actions and to have made any other choices would mean they wouldn’t be who they are today. I have a feeling those statements are intended to indicate peace with one’s major decisions in life, but certainly not every detail. At least that would not be true for me.
There are words I wish I could take back….decisions I wish I hadn’t made….dreams I wish I had pursued……..regrets. “I’ve had my share”, as the song goes. But it’s pretty hard to maneuver through life without them, no? So, as people of faith, what do we do with regrets?
Regret is good for one thing only, in my humble opinion. If dealt with quickly, it leads us to repentance. We acknowledge our mistake, or our decision….we seek restitution or forgiveness….take our poison, so to speak. But then we get up, shake it off and live.
Sadly, some people swallow the bitter poison of regret and never get up. They live their mistakes, or missed opportunities over and over until life turns grey and nothing feels right again. But that’s not how God intended for us to handle this gift of life! We have choices….so many in fact, that we’re bound to take a few wrong turns along the way. And if I’m so focused on what is lost….well….how will I notice what’s in front of me now?
Are you finding yourself bogged down with regret? Perhaps you’ve bit down hard on that poisonous pill and don’t see a way out. Take heart, my friend…..God doesn’t have the same limitations of time and space that we do. Way back then…..God saw you today. And God has amazing new ideas and dreams to plant in your heart once you make some room. I know it’s not easy….trust me….I’ve been there. But we aren’t alone. Our job is to pray for healing and an open heart. God’s job is to administer the antidote, and help us to our feet and to freedom. This I know to be true.
“Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.” Psalm 25:5