WHAT IS A REGRET?
Regret. It is not a word that young people often use. Why? Because it takes awhile to get a good regret going. Most of the time you don’t even realize that you are working on a regret until it gets big and ugly.
So, what is a regret? I am glad you asked…because if you didn’t I was going to have to. Then, I would have had to answer myself (which is the early signs of insanity). So, thanks for saving from schizophrenia! Anyway, regret—to express sorrow or a feeling of loss over a fault, act, disappointment or dissatisfaction.
I can still remember the first time I felt regret. It was all my fault. I believe I was about 6 or so. For some odd reason, our church youth group was having a house of horror for a safe Halloween alternative—I’m sure it was an activity they regretted having. (Besides, this obviously misses the meaning of the word “alternative.”) The activity was being held at my grandmother’s house. My uncle, my brother, my cousin, and I were all helpers in setting up her garage to be “spooky.” We dipped yarn in egg whites to make them slimy and got a small portable organ to make eerie sounds. The finale would be my uncle jumping out at the end to surprise the teens and scare them.
After the teens had gone through, they asked if I wanted to go through to get the full effect with the lights off and all. Now up until this point I did not know six-year-olds could be jerks, but I proved it that night. I went through the course saying, “Ooooo, this is scary,” with as much sarcasm as I could muster. Then, I got to the end and when my uncle jumped out, I stood deadpan and said, “Oh, hi, uncle Kevin.” I don’t know what overcame me. I was otherwise a very saintly child (see, my sarcasm is still in tact).
Immediately, I regretted my behavior. It was a horrible feeling, but I couldn’t undo my actions. I couldn’t take them back. I was left to just think about how much of a fool I had been. I ran to the car and climbed in the back and cried, because that is was six-year-old brats do.
And that is a regret, my first. I wish I could say I never felt that awful feeling again. But, unfortunately, I would repeat it several more times. Each time I would mourn what I had done or said (or not done or said). But there is no way to change it after it had happened. You must start now, before the next regret. “No more regrets,” must be our mantra, our motto!
I hope by sharing some of my regrets, big or small, that you will be able to avoid some pitfalls of your youth. Along with these regrets are some funny stories of my youth and some true-to-life young people who built regrets (or rewards) into their lives. This isn’t a book of telling you what to do. You are old enough and smart enough to draw conclusions as to what you need to do. And if you need any instruction, ask your parents and your pastor. That’s why God put them in your life.
So, let’s get started. I promise. If you read the whole thing, you won’t regret it!