Regrets, We All Have Some

Mr Bob Ebeling was a NASA engineer associated w/ the space shuttle. He had concerns about the atmospheric temperatures at the Cape when the Challenger was launched in 1986. He assembled data to indicate the risk to the shuttle at launch but was over-ridden by the powers that be to proceed. And sadly as we all know the spacecraft exploded 73 seconds into the mission killing the entire crew. Bob was consumed with regret for the rest of his life thinking he could have/should have done more to prevent the launch.

We can all look back and regret some decisions we made to either do something or not do something. Some of those regrets are relatively minor that you kinda shrug off as “oh well.” Others are a bit more ominous that in retrospect, that was a knucklehead move! And I’ve had both. A major one dealing with my dad, who is now deceased 14+ yrs, is why I didn’t spend more time getting to know him? Dad and I were fairly close but I missed a golden opportunity to chat with him about…What was it like to grow-up in the depression years? What was it like to serve in the Navy during WW II and to be in the middle of the Battle of Leyte Gulf when his ship was torpedoed? What was it like to work in a coal mine after he came home from the war and almost was killed in a coal mining accident when slate from the roof gave way and crushed him? What hopes/dreams/aspirations did he have? Etc., etc., etc.

So out of curiosity, I consulted “the Great Google” to find out what is recommended in dealing with regret. I was surprised at the numerous and varied recommendations from “just move on” to “have a conversation w/ yourself” (Seriously! And for me it would probably be a short conversation just ending up in an argument.) to “find other people with similar regrets” (Guess that’s so you can lament w/ each other.).

But what I did find interesting is several verses out of the Bible that can relate to regret. In Isaiah 43:18 we’re told to, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.” Of course sometimes that’s easier said than done, but the basis for forgiving ourselves and moving past it stems from God’s forgiveness. We’re reminded in Romans 8:1 that we’re free from condemnation if we’re in Jesus, and additionally we’re instructed in Ephesians 4:32 to be kind and compassionate to one another (and I would argue with ourselves as well), forgiving each other just as Christ forgave us.

So the starting point of forgiving ourselves is to experience God's forgiveness.