Posted by: Brad Stanford | November 16, 2009

No Regrets

Wouldn’t it be great to die satisfied? Wouldn’t it be great to die with no lose ends?

Actually, no it wouldn’t.

Because we are human, we are imperfect. If we die with everything tied neatly together, we weren’t trying hard enough. Life is a messy, complex, painful set of joys. It is a push to get where we’ve been designed to go. It is difficult to bust out of what is easiest, and do hard things. Most don’t. And most never live.

I saw Up today. It was the second time I’ve seen it. It’s one of the most sobering stories from Pixar. If you haven’t seen it, make sure to do so before next Sunday. It’s that good. I’m thankful for stories that can knock the wind out of the sails of pettiness, and light the fires of loyalty, love, and mission. I hope to someday write just such a powerful story, Lord willing.

While I have many, many regrets from my crumbly canyon wall that I call My Past, I am still able to have a sense of no regrets, even before I accomplish everything I moved here for. Before God allowed us to move, He dealt with me on how big my vision was. He convinced me that Kingdom-sized visions are those that are bigger than both my bank account and my life span. If it is not next to impossible, why pursue it? What room is there in my story for a “But God…” moment, if the odds are not against me to begin with? If I can accomplish all things, why do I need Christ to strengthen me?

But its sobering. It means that I’m setting myself up for close calls. And pain. And meetings and partings.

Many in the world run from sobriety as much as they can because life is full of regrets. Indeed, sex, drugs, and rock & roll, are counterfeit relationships, counterfeit vision, and counterfeit community – everything that God intended for us. This is why we run to them: we think enough of a counterfeit will give us the real deal.

But I embrace these moments of clarity and hold to them as some of the sweetest points in life. I love the feeling of knowing I have actually put forth my best effort, and have done some difficult things. And none of them were born out of the time period when I was trying to do it all myself. It was all after the humiliation of failure after failure, and God lifting me back up. Doing what he says – and not what I want – has worked in every place that I have failed or regretted in the past. It may not have tied up all the loose ends I see in my past, but it most certainly stopped the bleeding, and gave me a purpose and a future.

If regret tends to chase you down, or your best days are when you’re numb, I would like to offer an alternative:

Life.

To the full.

Not missing a moment, but a life in which even your last breath is in the middle of expressing, “I’m going for it!”. The kind of life that others wish they could have. The kind that covers a multitude of regrets retroactively, to the point that even the people you hurt in the past say, “That was a great recovery.”

You have been designed with a purpose in mind. Ask the Creator what that purpose is, then run headlong into it without looking back. You will never regret it.

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