Today’s article is part of our summer series, “Be of Good Courage.”
“Come in, I want to show you something,” my mother said as I stood at her front door holding a few bags of produce.
“I can’t, Mom, it’s for your safety.”
“But I’m making something….”
Half listening, I said, “I hope you can use these.”
I handed her grocery bags filled with zucchini, eggplant, onions, potatoes, and a few other staples she liked to have on hand. As I walked away, I didn’t know that would be the last time I would see my mother’s face.
This happened in April 2020.
The pandemic was new and I was just learning how to navigate this new lifestyle. I believed that not entering her home was the right thing to do. But had I known she would be called home just a few days later, I would have gone inside and stayed a while. A long while.
I still don’t know what it is she wanted to show me. That is one of the biggest regrets of my life, but not my only regret. Truth be told, regret is a strong emotion for me.
I should have done more for my kids when they were young. I should have visited that sister in the nursing home. I should have walked away from that conversation in the break room. I should have been nicer to the construction worker who showed up at my home with the wrong size door for the second time in three months.
In Isaiah 43, we are advised to let go of the past.
“Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.”
And in Romans 8:28, we learn “that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.”
Negative or positive, our experiences shape our lives. It’s up to us whether they shape our lives in good ways or not-so-good ways.
My regret over not visiting the sister who has since passed away spurred me to make a nursing home visit. I spent a few minutes with a sister from our branch. It wasn’t comfortable, but neither is regret.
When my granddaughter Sofia asks me to play with her, I never say I am too busy. That’s an easy one!
I’m still waiting to pass the test with the door installers should they show up with the wrong size door again.
There’s nothing I can do to change my last interaction with my mother, but I know she would say “Don’t worry about it. You did what you thought was right.” She was not one to dwell on the past. One of her famous lines was “I don’t have time for that.” You’re right Mom, I don’t have time for that either.
If you can’t relate to me on this topic of regret, then good for you. But for those of you who are nodding your head in agreement as you read this, be of good courage! With God’s help, we can do this!
I am learning that a forward-looking person doesn’t stay in the past, but rather lives in the moment. I haven’t mastered this type of thinking, but I am working on it. Being mournful and negative is not good for me or those around me.
We should be a forward-looking people, full of joy, hope, and thanksgiving. Let’s focus on being a child of the One True King! There’s no sadness in that statement.
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.