Ernie and I had just finished a lap of the upper deck of the Tucson Mall. We also planned, to walk a lap on the bottom floor. We did this every other Saturday morning with the hope we’d get in better shape.
As we walked and were just about to take the escalator to the first floor, I got distracted by a puppy in a pet shop window, and that’s when Ernie asked, “Do you have regrets about how you’ve lived your life?”
I stuttered, “Say what?”
“Well, in the beginning,” Ernie went on oblivious to my response, “I regretted lots of things in my life …
I tried to get in step with Ernie and I asked, “Like what?”
“My regrets, of course, make me sad.. no, I guess depressed is a better word …
“Yeah,” I inserted, “regrets are like that.”
“ … I’ve wondered how is God able to love me?” Ernie continued. “How God can care about me after the regrettable things I’ve done or use me for His service?”
“Sure, I’ve asked myself the same thing.” I lamented.
“However, recently, I’ve had a different thought about regrets …”
“Oh really, what have you thought?”
“I’ve been thinking that my regrets have shaped me into the person I’ve become and …”
“You’ve what!” I objected.”
“ … I’ve thought without my regrets I wouldn’t have become broken and repentant.”
“Ernie are you serious?” I could feel my face flush.
“I am.” Ernie slowed down a half a step. “Can you imagine how King David regretted killing Bathsheba’s husband Uriah?”
“It changed his whole life.”
“It ruined his whole life,” I added.
“Well, I’m not sure that’s true because after that horrible incident David seems to have lost his arrogance. Isn’t that a good outcome of his regret?”
“Maybe, but …”
“The key thing is his regret made David sorry and his regret made him a different person.”
“I don’t know …”
“Certainly I would agree that there were awful consequences for David’s terrible wrong but David’s relationship with God changed. I mean, David never again sinned against God. Isn’t that a good consequence of regret?”
“Sure but his action caused many miserable days for King David.”
“Absolutely, actions have consequences, but I’m thinking David became a better man as a result of being honest about his action against God.”
We had come to the end of our lap around the first floor of the Tucson Mall. “I don’t know if that makes regret a positive thing Ernie.”
We walked out of the mall to the place where we had parked Ernie’s car.
(to be continued)