Stan Kesler, the father of one of my wife’s sister-in-laws, worked as an engineer at Sun Studios in Memphis at the beginning of Elvis’s career. But Stan was also a song writer, and he co-wrote several of Elvis’s early songs, including “I Forgot to Remember to Forget” and “You’re Right, I’m Left, She’s Gone.”
We all have regrets. It’s a side-effect of being human. The problem with regrets is our inability to let go of some of them. When we “forget to remember to forget.”
God is always willing to forgive us for our sins when we turn to Him in true repentance, but that doesn’t mean we’re automatically able to forgive ourselves. And even when we do, those memories often come back to haunt us at the least expected times and in the most troubling ways.
God can help us deal with that, but it requires a great deal of prayer time and close fellowship with Him.
Fortunately, not all of our regrets are of equal importance.
I was thinking recently about the time I learned to drive and the first few months after I got my license. And even one more recent time. These are some of my “smaller” regrets:
- While practicing my driving, I accelerated too much and backed all the way across the street and several feet into somebody’s yard. But why regret? That could’ve been much worse.
- Why, oh why did I have to learn to drive using a stick shift in a small city that had a number of steep hills, many of them with traffic lights or stop signs at the top? Hmm. But at least I had a friend who was willing to teach me to drive, using his new car. And I never put one ding in it.
- When I inherited my first car, it had power brakes. I wasn’t used to them, and a group of fellow teachers had a good time laughing at me when I was trying to make my way out of a parking lot. Okay, I suppose laughter didn’t do any permanent damage.
- I was making a two hundred mile drive as a new driver, and the snow got so bad that snow tires were legally required. But I didn’t have any. At one point I pulled off to the side of the road, but when I pulled out again, I misjudged the speed of a coming bus. Fortunately, the collision was so mild that it only broke one tail light cover. Regrettable? Yes, but I learned an important lesson about driving in snow.
- I was driving my daughter to college–an eight hundred-plus mile trip–and thought I was smart enough to maintain the posted speed limit in spite of the rain. When the car spun off the road, it went barreling straight across a VERY wide grassy median strip almost to the side with oncoming traffic. But I was able to drive back across and get on the highway again with no more damage than a greater fear than I’d probably ever felt before. A greater fear and a change of driving habits.
Some regrets are more serious than others, but those that taught me a lesson are worth remembering. They’re just not worth fretting about as if I could go back and change anything.
I thank God daily for His love and mercy. And for helping me to put worthless regrets even further out of my mind.
What about you? Do you have regrets that linger like a ghost on your shoulder? Or have you learned–perhaps with God’s help–to put everything in its proper perspective? Your comments are welcome.
I’ll be back again next Sunday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.
Links you might be interested in:
- Roger’s other blog, As I Come Singing
- Roger’s website, RogerBruner.com
- Roger’s free Christian lead sheets
- Roger’s books on Amazon