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Meditations by John Dean

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Regrets

(Proverbs 5:11 MSG)  You don't want to end your life full of regrets, nothing but sin and bones,

The thought of leaving this world with regrets of not having fulfilled one’s destiny is very sad…yet that is exactly what this scripture is suggesting. What is even more sad is when one considers the reason for not doing it.

I have come to the conclusion that there are probably more old people who regret not having fulfilled their dreams in life than those who have. To make matters even worse, I am not sure that most people even know what their full potential in life is. All I know is that the reason why most fall short of their potential is because they do not want to  risk failing. If that is the case then you might even say that they are rejection-driven.

When a group of old folks were questioned about any regrets they had…or anything they would do differently if they could do it all over again…there seemed to be a common theme to their answers.

The most common regret was, “I wish I would have had the courage to live a life more true to myself and not the life that others expected of me.”

The second regret was, “I wish I had not worked so hard and had given more time to my family.” In other words, they missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship.

The third answer was, “I wish I would have had the courage to express my feelings.” In other words, many people suppress their feelings in order to keep peace with others and as a result they settle for a mediocre existence.
The forth answer was, “I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.” In other words, many were so caught up in their own lives that they let once treasured friendships diminish. However, when they were dying, all of them seemed to miss their friends.

The fifth answer was, “I wish that I had let myself be happier.” This was a surprisingly common answer among all the old folks who were interviewed.
Many did not realize until the end that happiness was a choice.

While writing this Meditation an email came in announcing that my dear friend, Dennis Wrigley from Manchester, England had just passed away. I have never known anyone quite like Dennis because he was not only a  true English gentleman, but he was respected by government and leaders of nations around the world. Because of that respect and the fact that people valued his wisdom he was often invited to meet with government officials, as well as the high cardinals and even the Pope in Rome.

In Dennis’s mind there was no difference between the great and the small person, therefore he and I had an extremely special relationship. I talked to Dennis last week over skype and our conversation (as always) was about the kingdom of God and touching lives. As a matter of fact in all of the years I have known Dennis, and the few times we traveled together, we never talked small talk…both of us were too focused on the things of God.

His family said that up until his final hours he was praising God and ministering to hospital visitors, patients and staff.

Conclusion: Even though our text may apply to many, it did not apply to Dennis Wrigley…he may have left this world but he did not leave anything on the table.

Father,
We want to be a good steward of the time and talent that You have given to us so we will not leave this world with regrets. Help us to be so full of You (like Dennis was) that we will not fear taking risks in life.

Amen

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