lately, studying has been consuming my life.
thus, ive spent several hours of almost every day for the past 2 weeks at panera.
being within ear-shot of such a variety of people has helped me maintain sanity, i believe; i allow small breaks when awkward first dates are happening or young children are elaborating on silly stories. its the best.
a few days ago, my attention was drawn to two young brothers, both clad in brightly coloured swim trunks covered with the faces of professional wrestlers. i giggled from the corner, and relished in the fact that each of us, as children, experienced a time in life when we didnt care what anyone thought of us.
what really caught my attention, though, was the saying on the side of the swim trunks. right next to a grimacing, tanned man with veins popping out of his neck, i saw the phrase, "regret nothing."
how is it that the biggest messages come in the simplest forms?
see, i think we often confuse the ideas associated with regret. sometimes, we get consumed with pride, screaming that we regret nothing....that everything happens for a reason & we wouldnt change a thing; and other times, we claim that our lives are filled with regret. if we could only go back and make a different decision, our hearts would not look so worn. we would not be covered in scars & terrified of the hurt that others seem to heap upon us. we hit the extremes, but never pause to look at the root.
for those of us living in regret, what we are ultimately doing is living in shame...distrust...guilt. the regret becomes all-consuming and without noticing, it has defined us. and while dwelling in what once was, we have pushed christ aside, claiming (sometimes unconsciously or unknowingly) that our sins, decisions, & hurts are too terrible to be handled; we take them upon ourselves & with our actions, we tell god that he is no longer sovereign. we are hindering the gospel in our lives & in the lives of those around us.
yet, when we "regret nothing", we tend to view ourselves as god. we made our decisions; we handled the outcomes; we withstood the test; we will continue to guide our own paths. most often, this seems to be a prideful claim that poses as a facade for all the guilt, shame, & grievances that we've buried. we refuse to be vulnerable. instead of acknowledging mistakes....instead of being real about the pain we're experiencing...instead of looking someone in the eye and saying, "this really hurts"...we internalize our thoughts & experiences, all the while keeping our chins up & our tears hidden.
the gospel leads us to an entirely different extreme.
instead of identifying ourselves in our regrets, christ tells us to identify ourselves in him.
instead of dwelling daily in our shame, christ calls us to repent & believe that the cross is sufficient.
instead of living in fear, christ calls us to trust that his story is better than ours.
instead of putting up a front, christ calls us to break down our walls in community.
instead of retreating because its safe, christ calls us to die to ourselves & our comforts.
stop regretting everything; stop regretting nothing.
believe that god is good & worthy of our trust.