Monday, April 30, 2012

Living With Regret by Martin Wiles

I stare out the window on a warm March afternoon of the winter that wasn’t in the southern United States. My garden plot stares back, “Are you going to prepare me?”

I’ve made plans for the initial plowing but wonder… Can I plant it? I have the skills, knowledge and implements. I am capable of buying the necessary seeds and plants. 

Should I plant? An answer not so obvious. In spite of proper care, the plot hasn’t delivered favorable results. What grows well attracts deer. The expense of keeping them away-along with rising prices, makes me question the effort.

Will I? Probably. I come from a family of farmers and gardeners who get itchy this time of year. I’m attracted by the smell of freshly plowed ground, the feel of sweat splattering my face and the satisfaction of watching God transform my efforts.

If I don’t plant a garden, I’m afraid regret will enmesh me as it did God during Noah’s time. The LORD regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled (Genesis 6:6). God prepared the earth, planting humans in a beautiful garden. But Eve wanted the one thing God forbade, Adam followed suit and it was all weeds from there. 

God has planted me here for a season. I cannot change the past, have limited control over the present, and the future is tenuous. Regrets poison life. The should’ve, could’ve, would’ves. Looking back makes us prisoners of the past rather than claiming power over it. 

Well, time to stop contemplating, get out the implements and get dirty. I’ll do my part, God will do his, and in the end it will work out for the best. After all, he made the garden.

Prayer: God of mercy, remove our regrets so we can experience Your bright future.
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