Blog #22 No Regrets
I didn’t know it was the last one. I had a feeling it would be, but I wasn’t sure until I broached the question with my kids.
“Are we dressing up for Halloween this year?”
I have 13 and 11-year-old boys and the older one said it all nonverbally. He was done. Truth be told, my younger son would definitely have gone a few more laps with the tradition, but after seeing his brother’s assessment he coolly responded with, “No way, Mom. I’m over that.”
For us, Halloween was a family affair. It started with our attempt to reenact Star Wars characters. I tried DIY face paint for my dearest Yoda, but it ended up being clumpy and sliding down his face. In the years to come we were pumpkins, Indians, s’mores, a deck of cards, emojis and Fortnight fans.
Our dog, Lucky, enthusiastically participated every year, requesting his own sign for the Fortnight costume.
But now it’s over.
Just like that.
We all know chapters begin and end. Seasons change. But sometimes, even though it’s expected, the end is hard. Why? There are probably a lot of reasons, but a big one is regret. We struggle when a season ends because we wish we had handled it or experienced it differently. We want to dial back the clock and have a do-over.
Thankfully the Bible speaks to this.
“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12
It is a sobering reminder that our days are fleeting. But in doing so, we make the most of our time by preventing regret with wisdom. Let me define wisdom in two parts: having knowledge and acting on it in a way that is beneficial and productive. Notice the knowledge and the action in these two statements:
I know vacations are expensive, therefore I budget accordingly to avoid debt.
I know being responsible is important, therefore I let my kids fail when I know it leads to growth.
To know something is not enough. We must act on it in a way that is beneficial and productive. The problem is we often act, despite our knowledge, leading to less than desirable outcomes.
We don’t budget for the vacation and pay for it significantly in the months to follow.
We rescue our kids, to avoid seeing them struggle, and they don’t learn responsibility.
The fruit of acting wisely is it greatly diminishes regret. But it’s hard! Because wisdom will call us to live with integrity and to be disciplined, patient, and sacrificial. There is work to be done either way!
So, let me ask you this:
Would you rather do the hard work on the front end (wisdom) or the back end (regret)?
I have no regrets now that our Halloween tradition is over. I knew it would end one day, so I made the most of it until it did. But like the DIY face paint, I have also made unwise choices in life. I am not without regret! But I am learning from them. I am trying to live out Scripture and I make it a habit to garner the advice of people I really respect.
What are some ways you gain wisdom? Comment below or in the social media link you came from.
Join me in doing the hard work on the front end!
Pick one area that needs attention and commit to the work it will take to handle it wisely.
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