no regrets

“Out of love,
No regrets–
Though the goodness
Be wasted forever.

Out of love,
No regrets–
Though the return
Be never.”

Langston Hughes


(a new forming peach / Julie Cook / 2017)

Our society has a flippant little expression…
“leave nothing behind and have no regrets”
Meaning…
whatever you do,
go forward,
don’t look back
and for heaven’s sake, whatever you do, do not ever apologize…

It’s the “glad I did it” sort of mindset with a heavy dose of
“And I’d do it all over again if I had the chance…”
Despite the “it” having been foolhardy, selfish, ill advised or downright wrong…
As the ego boldly claims to have “no regrets”
As an air of bravado now masks any second guessing….

While on the other side of this no regret issue,
sits the one who has come to the end of a life lived…
As he now prepares to meet his maker,
he looks back while taking stock of the ups and downs of living….

He looks back determining that despite the highs and the lows,the good and the bad,
he can actually let go, as he readies to go home, with no regrets….

Is that not how we all hope it will be…
That when the time comes for us to depart this life,
we’ll be able to look back with that same sense of peaceful lack of regrets…

Yet unfortunately, we all aren’t granted that luxury of time for reflection,
that time of taking stock.

For one minute we’re here and then the next, we’re not.
No chance to spend time reflecting, pondering or sorting.

Yet for the one who has chosen to follow the Christ…
time no longer matters because…
there are no more regrets….
all having been replaced by forgiveness coupled with Grace…

But there is no point dwelling on the past excessively.
My mother used to warm us against that; she’s say
“Doting on what’s gone is wasting precious time.”
It’s stealing time really, from the present and from the future.
If you believe in the mission of Jesus Christ,
then you’re bound to try to let go of your past,
in the sense that you are entitled to his forgiveness.
To keep regretting what was is to deny God’s grace.

Dorothy Day

14 comments on “no regrets

  1. atimetoshare.me says:

    Lovely words of comfort, Julie. We lost another friend last week and my special, best friend is in the final throes of life as pancreatic cancer is taking her life. It seems to be a right of passage for folks my age, but what assurance to know that we don’t need to regret. Everything has been take care of for us – even the room awaiting us in heaven.

  2. Wally Fry says:

    Nice post Julie, and wise counsel. I still struggle with family regrets a lot, though. I know Jesus has forgiven me but I still regret some of the effects I had…

    • I agree Wally—and maybe that’s why I wrote it…just like most of us Wally, I too have been plagued by regrets throughout my life—things I did or didn’t do that the now older and hopefully wiser me knows were either stupid and wrong or a total miss on my part…
      I’ve allowed things to beat me up and eat at me throughout my life’s journey–those “would have”, “should have”, “could have” moments that never should have been or— on the other hand– certainly should have been but for whatever selfish reason, I didn’t let them.
      And as you allude—because of our choices there are those around us who become collateral damage…because of our ego, pride, selfishness, stupidity, neglect…those negative things we reap upon others by association…it is the wider net of our inflicted pain, anguish, hurt, sorrow and yes, even regret….
      But in all of that lies our Redemption and our Healing…
      Nothing on this earth that we do or choose not to do is hidden from God.
      That terrible yet awesome free will of ours is never off His radar…
      and He can indeed do wonders where we screw up…sometimes we are privy to this wonderment and at other times we are not—for it may not be for our lifetime to see those Holy and Sacred remedies…
      but what I do know is that He can and will work things out…for each of us in His own way…ways which are unique to our own circumstance…
      It’s taken me until I was 57 to figure some of this out…after a lot of wasted time of remorse and regret and self beatings…
      that whole mindset of I don’t even deserve His forgiveness…only to be followed by the doubts of maybe I won’t get to go to Heaven after all…
      and all of that is Satan himself—the weaver of lies and self doubt whispering in my ear as how underserving I am and how much I really am a screwup…
      And that’s where I have to push the lies aside and cling to the truth—Forgiveness, Redemption, Healing and Victory…

      • Wally Fry says:

        Well…wow..yes and amen. Thank you Julie for such a thoughtful reply.

      • it was for both of us Wally 🙂

      • Citizen Tom says:

        I enjoyed this post. Thank you.

        Regret is not necessarily an evil thing. It comes from our conscience, and I know I need to listen to mine.

        If we never took the time to regret, we would not learn from our mistakes. We would not accept our guilt and repent. Yet once we have learned and repented we must go on. It is through our repentance we learn of His forgiveness. It because of His forgiveness, we can go on.

        As you pointed out, what we do in love we will not have cause to regret.

      • Agreed Tom– I think our ability to regret is a safety line thrown to us by our Savior– it is what allows our conscience to see the rights and wrongs–so there remains hope to repent and once that action takes place and we have sought true forgiveness–it’s onward and upward — 😇

      • Lynda says:

        Julie, always remember the parable of the Prodigal Son. It was really the father who was the prodigal – lavishly giving out his love just like our heavenly Father. God loves us far more than we could ever imagine so remember that when you feel undeserving – we aren’t deserving but God loves us anyway! We are so blessed!

      • thank you Lynda—I know–there was a time I struggled with what Wally echoed—but time and Grace have helped me to move past those doubts…pushing me away from wallowing in the sense of regret which was overshadowing the joy to be found in the release of that regret which is bathed and washed in a warm sea of forgiveness…

  3. oneta hayes says:

    Julie, it is very true that we lay it all out and accept the grace which Jesus gives. Regret and remorse satisfy nothing; repentance and forgiveness satisfy completely.

  4. Very wise post my friend. Neither of them accomplish or change anything. 🙂 ❤

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