“Why do they not teach you that time is a finger snap and an eye blink, and that you should not allow a moment to pass you by without taking joyous, ecstatic note of it, not wasting a single moment of it’s swift, break-neck current.”- Pat Conroy, My Losing Season
In today’s blog, John Ortberg covers four categories of regret most commonly found when people approach the end of their lives.
1. I would have loved more deeply. Although some events possess a built-in sense of urgency attached to them, the call to love rarely comes with urgency. Yet, even though we cannot control moments and years – or our end – there’s good news. As Pastor Ortberg exhorts, “in the light of eternity, each day that we live, each act of love, moves from potential good to realized good and will never be lost, not for all eternity.
2. I would have laughed more often. Since sin, death, guilt, and the devil really have been defeated, it’s not up to us. The word gospel really does mean “good news.” As Frederick Buechner once wrote: “When God really gets going, even the morning stars burst into singing and all the sons of God shout for joy.”
3. I would have given more generously. Therefore, John exhorts, start giving today! Mortician-poet Thomas Lynch once met with a wealthy, worldly Irish priest who described his funeral plans. In contrast to his opulent earthly life, the priest wanted a plain pine box and a pauper’s grave. As Lynch quipped, “being a dead saint is no more worthwhile than being a dead angelfish.”
4. I would have lived more boldly. Consequently, boldly put your priorities in order and perspective. As a result, you’ll have richness of being rather than richness of having.
In conclusion, John refers to a condition called active inertia. People with this condition stick to old commitments, even after they no longer make sense. Or when they become injurious to their health or soul’s well-being. This often goes on until one hits a crisis. But, Pastor Ortberg observes, it’s better not to wait till then to find time to change.
Today’s question: Since time’s an eye blink, which of the four regrets must you actively prevent?
Tomorrow’s blog: “We cannot finesse integrity”