It’s been quite a while since I’ve made the time to contribute to the BeWoW/Writers Quote Wednesday effort – too long. But life seems to get in the way often these days and I just haven’t. But a thought has been nagging me for a while so here we go …Back in the 1980s I recall seeing George Burns on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson being his usual, unpredictable, hilarious self during an interview. Mr. Burns answered a question from Carson which I can’t recall , but will never forget his answer:
“Don’t believe everything they tell you. I use salt. I smoke 15 cigars a day. I have three or four martinis a day. If I don’t like the food, I send for ketchup. I’m almost 90 and I have no regrets.”
Being young and naive I was inspired; this was how I was going to live my life: with no regrets! And I managed do that for a while – until I got older and wiser and realize just how badly I’d failed my attempt to do this. (For those interested, you can find similar quotes like this one on the web.)
The other night as I was putting my grandson to sleep I sang an old hymn to him, one that I’ve sung him to sleep with for years. But on this night he asked about its meaning, which I explained to him. I was happy he remembered the song and was interested in it,but it reminded me of how much better I could have done with my own children if I had spent less time at work and more time with them: one of my a biggest regrets I have.
I’m glad that I have had the opportunity to make up for some of that time, though it was with a high cost. And I look forward to being a bigger presence in my grandsons (the one here now and the one coming in July) in a positive, godly way.
Regrets are, in my opinion, inevitable; we are human and we falter and make mistakes. The most important things are how we recognize, respond, and recover when we do fail. Whatever it is that needs done, do it in humility, love, and with great urgency. And learn from them! Don’t waste precious time on regrets; recognize, respond, and recover from them and move on. Life is too short to live in the past.