"For God can use sorrow in our lives to help us turn away from sin and seek salvation. We will never regret that kind of sorrow. But sorrow without repentance is the kind that results in death."
~ II Corinthians 7:10 ~
His shoulders shook as sorrow annihilated him. Sitting in his chair, his head bent down as his large hands grasped his chair trying to hold back the tears. Hopelessness seemed to overshadow his life as he knew it. He couldn't see clearly anymore, nothing made sense. He was the one who for years took care of his family, worked long hours as this is how he showed his love for his wife and family.
Regret and remorse had overtaken his thoughts. The thoughts of "If only..." "What if?" Shaking his head back and forth, regretting the 'lack of living' he lived the past 25 years or more of his life. Time had gone right through him and his family. It was like having great wealth which represented his family and time was the money spent. He had nothing to show for it.
"I had all this time, and a beautiful family to enjoy. I chose to show my love as I felt I was being greatly responsible versus truly loving and living my life with them. O, how I wish I could savor that time spent just one more time."
He thought of the years that had past when his daughter on a daily basis when she was young would beg him to smell the flowers with her. Yet, getting the task done for the day was priority over something that seemed so insignificant. More thoughts of regret, "If I could go back to those days. If I could have picked her up, ran with her in my arms and smelled those flowers until I couldn't smell anymore."
As I imagine someone going through a similar scenario in some way; maybe even more great than this, I want to offer you the encouragement from God. Those moments we forget to live are usually in the smallest acts. It might just be choosing to go for a walk with your spouse or child and literally smelling the flowers and intentionally hearing the birds sing and the dogs bark.
This scenario that I was led to imagine reminds me of my abuse of time that God has blessed me with. I am reminded of the times my daughter has begged me to go do something so little. What she asks of me does not require a financial dime. I am reminded that the cost of my time is nothing in comparison to the cost of regret, which is like a lingering debt that is owed to the one's who should have received it.
I am reminded that 'my' time, is not 'my time'. It is God's time that He allows me to manage. I am only a steward of that time, it is not mine to hoard.
I am also reminded that as this man who has lost everything; God can still redeem and restore that which he has lost. Regret can be the greatest enemy to progress or it can be a great motivator to progress.
If we are human, there are regrets that try to haunt us. Regret is for sure "nothing new under the sun" as Solomon would say.
God is for you not against you. Remind yourself of this. To the degree regret tries to press you; is to the degree that we must remind ourselves to press into God enjoying Him and the gifts that He has so richly blessed us with.