Several times prior to his death, my father would interrupt a conversation to tell me that he had no regrets about his life. Not a man prone to transparency or emotions, these admissions were quite startling. In hindsight, I think he was trying to calm me for the time when I would live without him in my life, and when I would be asking the “what if” and “why” questions.
I will not be able to tell my son the same thing my father told me. When I am reflective and honest, I have many regrets. Regrets about poor decisions, missed opportunities, ill-timed or insensitive comments, wrong choices, bad habits, wasted time, and unattained goals. These regrets fill certain parts of my soul in shadow, popping up occasionally to darken my desire to live joyfully in the light of the Holy Spirit.
Certainly, I am not alone in this experience.
King David dealt with the issue of darkness that sin brought about by his devious ways. Lustful, murderous and adulterous, David displayed a life of cowardice and conniving. But David’s regret drove him to repentance, which enabled him to pen these words:
You, Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.
— Psalm 18:28
Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, Lord.
— Psalm 89:15
The Apostle John described the light of Jesus this way:
In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
— John 1:4–5
Jesus told his followers that his light can replace the darkness in their lives.
“Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
— John 8:12
Our challenge is to refuse to live a life focused on what creeps into our rear-view mirrors. As children of Christ, we have the light of life in our very souls. Choose today, in each moment, to live in the light that Jesus brings.