Is it possible to have regrets about the future? Aren’t regrets only about the past? Have been meditating on some things I already regret about my future days, months, years, or whatever I have left.
1. I regret that I will never preach through every book of the Bible; I know it won’t get done by me; that means that I will miss much that is revealed in various books, since a book opens up richly and more fully only by studying it more deeply and not just annually reading it. I regret this sincerely.
2. I regret that I will not read all the books I would truly enjoy and profit from; I will never get to some that would help me immensely, that would stir me, open up wonderful revelation of things I’ve not ever seen, that would encourage me, inspire me, and help me; there’s just not time; I read regularly, systematically, and continually, but I think of John Owen’s Communion with God or all the works of John Bunyan (60 books), or Calvin’s Institutes, or the outstanding biographies that are out there (thousands of them), and I realize I won’t get to many of those; Having read some of Owen and Bunyan and Calvin, I would love to read all of them–everything–but I won’t ever do it. I regret that, when I come to the day of my death, even among my own library, there will be books I wanted to read that I haven’t. I regret my unread future reading.
3. I regret that in my final days, I will not have loved my wife and children as I could have and should have. No matter how sweet or good a relationship can be, when I come to the end, I will realize I could have communicated that love more and better–I could have initiated more times with them over breakfast, more fun things to do together, and more expressions of my feelings and love through hugs and words and actions. I will regret not showing more love and appreciation, not telling them how I feel and what I long for them. I don’t want to have such regrets, but I know those will be there. I will place them under the blood of the Lamb, and just plead mercy and grace. But the regrets will be genuine.
4. I regret that I will not have spoken to everyone I could have and should have about Jesus. I regret this now because I will feel it then. That will be a great regret.
5. I regret that I will not have done more good to all those that I could have and should have.
6. I regret that I will not have prayed as I could have and should have, and that more fruit could have been gained through answered prayer.
So, as the song says, “And when I come to die . . . . give me Jesus.” He will be the one perfect non-regret and the only One that can dry the tears and say, “Well done, well done; enter thou into the joy of your Lord.” And there won’t be any regret in that.
Gotta go now and lessen the number of my future regrets.
– Mack Tomlinson