Can I Get a Ticket Out of the Land of Regret? How many times have we found ourselves reflecting on how we would reverse a decision, or an action of ours from the past? How many times have we almost looked up to Heaven itself, and boldly exclaimed, “If I Had It All to Do Over Again?” Regret has so often painfully affected so many of us. It is so amazing that the mind will replay certain events of days gone by over and over again. Regret is a constant adversary for many individuals than span virtually every spectrum of life. One may appear to be a smashing outward success, while all the while that same individual is waging a daily warfare against Regret. How many of us want to go back into time and change some of the awful decisions that we may have made in life?
Regret is a major contributor to depression, and many other mental disorders. People of Faith have not been exempt from feeling the effects of Regret. While many of us serve a God that has forgiven us of our every sin, we often times still find ourselves languishing in the Land of Regret. Why don’t we readily embrace the clean slate that our loving Heavenly Father has given us, instead of us focusing on the many disasters of our past? Are we trying to be The Masters of Our Own Fate, or The Captains of Our Own Souls? Are we delving into a dangerous type of self worship by feeling that we are infallible beings who shouldn’t have made a bad decision?
How many times can one reflect how they may have treated another individual in the past, and then be left to wonder what if I had done better by this person? I remember one weekend that I had that little still small voice whisper in my ear to go visit my grandmother, and I thought to myself that I would visit her during the first part of the next week. My grandmother passed away that weekend, and I missed a wonderful opportunity to see my loving grandmother in the land of the living one more time. I also remember that my grandfather was in the hospital in the late 80’s and I missed coming to visit him one Sunday because I was so involved in some things at the college that I was attending. Well that was the last day that my grandfather shared any conversations with anyone before he passed away. While I greatly loved each of these individuals I missed tremendous opportunities to spend some vital time with each, and I was left with regret over each of these incidents.
How about the many bad decisions that many of us have made at that good job, or opportunity that we had because we either got angry, or things didn’t go our way? Missed opportunities, damaged interpersonal relationships, and shattered dreams are often the consequences of bad decisions. I submit that as much as many of us desire to be time travelers, one can’t just board a ship that is readily equipped for time travel to the past. Regretting one’s bad decisions can torment one’s life for years. Can we escape the Land of Regret? Is there any hope for the pains that we feel subsiding any time soon? Are some of our trips back down memory lane loaded with feelings of despair over our many missed or ruined opportunities?
How many marriages, and relationships have been ruined by the bad decisions of one of the participants of that union? Why is time so slippery when one wants to grasp time by its handles, and reverse the ill effects of one’s bad decisions? Since we are all fallible beings we all will make mistakes, and we all will sometimes lose things that were precious to us because of our bad decisions. Does it hurt any less when one has to suffer the effects of a bad decision? I humbly submit that it will not hurt any less sometimes. Time has away of healing many of these wounds sometimes, but even with time some are still battling an almost daily trip to The Land of Regret. Many of us spend time replaying, and almost daydreaming about how great things would have been if we had just made the right decision. Lord just let me have that moment back! Lord Why Didn’t I Do It Different? These are all war cries of many that languish in The Land of Regret.
The Apostle Paul writes in Phillipians 3:13 and 3:14-Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. The Apostle Paul admitted that the one thing that he had a grip on, was his ability to let go of the past, and move forward into the future. He didn’t let himself become a prisoner of the Land of Regret. He accepted that the Past Was Past, and no matter how much it hurt him he made the decision to embrace his present, and his future. Should we not follow the example of Paul? Would many of the great losses of our pasts coincide with what God intended for us from the beginning? Are we living in The Land of Regret over something that God never intended for us any way? Don’t stay in The Land of Regret, God has so much more in store for you. I humbly submit that God has more in store for you than you could have ever lost. Once and for all let’s turn our backs on, and let’s arrange a ticket out of the Land of Regret!
Regret is basically fear in overalls. How can we face a limitless God in the days to come, while we are still crying over spilled milk from days gone by? God has so much more for you, than you could have ever lost in the past!
Pastor Stephen F. Smith