Regret is something most people live with no matter how big or small whether they want to or not. Now granted, some regrets are biggies (like buyer's remorse, second thoughts about marriage partners, career choices) and some are just mild irritations, like "Oh, I wish I hadn't turned here," or "if only I'd remembered to start the pot roast at 1 instead of 2." As little as they may seem, they are regrets.
The truth is, what separates the biggies from the littles is the consequence. I mean, unless your action really costs something, it's probably in the latter category. I feel like most of my life is in between the biggies and their lessor counterparts. I'm pretty happy with my life, for the most part. I have a steadfast and faithful husband for whom I'm very thankful. I've survived the first 2.5 years of having two kids, though at times I've considered putting them on ebay. I love the house we bought, the cars we drive are a real blessing. The thing I struggle with is creating more drama over the regrets that don't matter than I do with the consequences of regrets that DO matter. I struggle with the ankle-biters. And no, I'm not referring to my kids here...the little regrets that seek to become bigger than they should be. I worry that I am not doing any better than my parents did, not that everything was a wash. I worry that I am not doing enough as a parent, that I'm already ruining/scarring my kids' lives by the foolishness I'm caught up in. I worry that I could be doing more at church, furthering the Kingdom of God. I worry that I don't measure up.
So, as I am thinking on this and ruminating on it, I want to put out here that there are a few things at work: the world, the flesh, and the devil.
The modus operandum for the world is to look out for number one here and by extension, to look out for my kids and their interests. Make sure that you spend all your waking moments pouring every bit of whatever time, resources, whatever into making sure your kid is the smartest, earliest reader, the most focused, agile athlete, the most intuitive, tuneful musician...the best s/he can be.
Sometimes, I get caught up in it and feel like I need to join this system for the sheer number of folks who are already on the bandwagon, but honestly, I just don't have the energy, the time, not to mention, the money. Do I want my kids to "be excellent in what is good?" of course I do, just not at the expense of everyone else in the family, hubs included.
The flesh...the weakest link. I find myself often wanting just to be a part of everything, but thanks be to God, my flesh will not allow it. Paul coins it well saying the good he wants to do, he does not do but the evil that he does not want to do...but then there comes the regret again, something to keep the wheels turning. I want to choose well. I want to honor God above myself, but I am inconsistent.
...and then there's the Devil. His job is to steal, kill, and destroy, and he does a pretty good job of it. I was recently at a women's conference where the speaker reminded us of this fact and honestly, in my mind, I saw it as though for the first time. I'd been dull to it. Satan wants to steal away my peace/my hope so that I don't fight against him. He wants to kill my dreams in the Lord so I am like the living dead...a spiritual zombie. He wants to destroy my witness for God by taking all this stuff away. What I realized was that I'd been stuck in the physical the whole time, thinking Satan was just out to physically kill me...how much better for him if I am spiritually dead or like the walking wounded, unable to reflect God's glory to those around me?
One of his favorite tools is a magnifying glass. He wants to make everything, even those teeny regrets look ENORMOUS to me so that I will turn my focus off of the WAY-Maker.
As I bring this entry to a close, I want to spend some time MAGNIFYING the WAY MAKER!
Papa God, there is nothing that is too hard for you. You have every resource of power available to you because you ARE power. Help me to remember to meditate on your goodness, your omnipotence in every situation. Be Glorified in me!