I Came to Love You Late [Regrets]

regret

Regrets are a funny thing.

You really start to gather them when you get into your fifties. They are a bit sticky, once you have them, they’re hard to get rid of— (kind of like dog hair on a nice jacket.) I’m 61 now and am surprised by the memories of things gone by. I guess this is one of the job hazards of getting old.

Why do we remember the bad things– surely they weren’t all mistakes?

God’s Word gives us fresh insight into this state of mind of regretfulness. What it gives is akin to instructions to disarm a bomb— it’s ticking, and ready to explode. There are some who have been severely wounded when a regret goes off. Out of the blue–whammo!

But what really bothers me is all of the missed opportunities.

I wonder what life could have been like if I had accepted Christ at a younger age. A lot of pain would’ve been averted and perhaps I might have loved Jesus deeper than I do now. Some of us come to love Jesus late in life. There is so much time frittered away.

I regret the years spent in rebellion and disobedience. I remember the words of a 70-year-old man who had just received Christ, “Why did I wait so long for this to happen?”

No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.”

Philippians 3:13-14, NLT

Paul learned to adjust his vision. He no longer let regret define him, choosing rather forget the past and press into the future. The solution to regret is to focus on what lies ahead. Heaven is our destination–it is our calling, it’s really where we belong.

And Peter tells us that our past sin was enough. We have wasted enough time doing evil. I don’t know about you, but I had a bellyful of sin, and it’s time to lay all the foolishness and rebellion and live instead for God. Enough is enough.

3 “You have had enough in the past of the evil things that godless people enjoy—their immorality and lust, their feasting and drunkenness and wild parties, and their terrible worship of idols.”

1 Peter 4:3

There is a sorrow that leads us to repentance (2 Cor. 7:10), and since it affects me I should make full use of it— not knowing when it will leave. I have regrets like anyone else, but there is also the joy of having my sin forgiven. They both mingle and at times I rejoice, but the sadness comes and goes as well. David, that great sinner-king, understood the joy of forgiveness.

Oh, what joy for those
    whose disobedience is forgiven,
    whose sin is put out of sight!
Yes, what joy for those
    whose record the Lord has cleared of guilt,
    whose lives are lived in complete honesty!

Psalm 32:1-2

“Maturity comes from obedience, not necessarily from age.”

    Leonard Ravenhill

Geriatrics R Us, and Other Thoughts

I’m coming up to 50 and it seems very strange.  I have never gotten old before, so it is an adventure.  I guess for the first time I’m face-to-face with three things.

1)  I am older than most people I meet. 

A few weeks ago I attended the weekly pastor’s meeting for Homer.  I looked around and of the 7-8 pastors/elders I realized I was the oldest present.  It really felt strange.  I am no longer ‘looking to’ but am now ‘looking back’. But I still find myself thinking that old age is always 15 years older than where I am now.

2)  Time has become increasingly valuable. 

For the first time ever, I am operating with the sense that my time is slipping away.  It’s funny but I can’t watch TV anymore, because it uses time up.  It seems foolish to me.  The same with books and magazines.  (I even resent bathing, because of the time involved, lol.)  I get frustrated unlacing my shoes, because time is slipping away.  We think that as we get older, we will have patience.  That is decidedly not the case for me.

3)  I have an eternity with God and His faithful, ahead of me. 

The first two are somewhat automatic, they just seem to come when I am in a certain frame of mind.  But this one, #3,  comes when I pray.  Growing up I always had a fear of death.  Just thinking about it now, makes me a little edgy and anxious.  I need to hold on to the promises and actively anticipate heaven.

Growing old is weird.  Making the different transitions to age-appropriate concepts is a real hoot!  My hair is grey now, and I’m having issues with my hearing and my sight.  I really like to read the obituaries, especially noting the age of the deceased.  I’m also a big baseball fan, and it’s funny but I catch myself thinking that I could be the father of anyone of them.

Time rolls on, whether you like it or not.  It’s best to think about scrapping your earth suit.  Our present bodies are becoming obsolete.  The funny thing is, 100,000 years from now, we will look back at this time on earth and wonder what the heck that was all about. :-)

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