As I have journeyed through life, I have had very few regrets. To me, regret is something that kind of eats away at you. It doesn’t really keep you up at night, but just is always there in the back of your mind. Given the opportunity, you would definitely handle the situation better, do it differently or maybe avoid something. I can probably count on one hand the number of regrets that I have had.
My regrets are situations dealing with other people. Yeah, I wish someone would have told me to buy Apple stock in the early 80s when I was making good money at Michigan International Speedway where I worked during the summer months of my college days. I probably wasted more of that hard-earned money than I should have! No, my regrets don’t deal with what I could have gained or what I could have lost, but the people in my life.
One instance is a teacher. Well, more than a teacher, he was also my football coach and an advisor for the Varsity Club when I was in high school. Now, this guy was not someone you would want to mess with. He played fullback at a division one school and was a pretty good size. Walking down the hall past his room one day, I saw a kid cussing him out. Of course, he had to just stand there and take it. Now this kid was known for causing trouble and I stopped and hated what I saw. . .then I kept on walking. I regret not stepping into that room and at least standing in between this rude kid and this admired teacher.
I kept on going rather than being there for him. As we traverse this life we have opportunities to be there for people. It may cost us our time, maybe some discomfort and possibly some money. What we have to ask ourselves is what is most important and what will be lasting. That happened this week when the stars aligned in just a way to allow me to attend the Michigan NCAA tournament game followed by the Tennessee game with my son and grandson who are Tennessee fans. Yes, it cost some time and money, but it is definitely a regret I will not have going forward.
The hubcap? Well, that journey was about seventeen years ago. We were headed to a conference and as we pulled away from a stoplight my son saw a hubcap lying along the road. “Hey, Dad, can we stop and get it?” came the excited voice. “Nope,” was my reply as I was focused on where we were headed. What would it have taken, five minutes maybe ten to stop, walk back a few yards and grab it? But I was so focused on the journey that I didn’t stop. To this day I still regret that we didn’t stop for that hubcap.
The more important regrets we need to avoid are the spiritual ones. Yes, doing something you shouldn’t have done is something to regret. But grace covers that and when God forgets our sin, so should we. And it is that grace that propels me forward to not regret missing any opportunity to share God’s love with someone. I don’t want to look back and wish I had taken the time and courage to help someone see more clearly what the scriptures say about the life He calls us to live for Him. These missed opportunities do have an effect beyond this life.
What opportunities has God put in your life? Maybe some are like the hubcap or an
NCAA tournament game with your son and grandson. Or maybe they are even more important eternal opportunities, like the individuals God has put in your life that you are just walking past. Don’t regret being so focused on the task at hand that you miss seeing an important moment that you are just looking past. Stop, and take the time to pick up that “Spiritual” hubcap.
Picking up hubcaps,