My wife and I are about to celebrate 20 years of marriage. Over the course of our marriage, like everyone, we’ve had made many life changing decisions, good and bad. Many have at times had greater impacts than we could have imagined. Through this, we have often been asked, even by our own children, if we have regrets. Like do we regret being married so young, never traveling the world, stuff like that. The answer of course is yes. But, frankly I have more things I regret having done than things I wish I had done. We tend to forget that regret works both ways. The reality is, when our desires are of our own making, regret is a fact of life. King Solomon put it best:
I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind. (Ecclesiastes 1:14 NIV)
Avoiding regret is not avoiding decisions and actions. But, it does necessitate living on more than hope and prayer that things will workout for the best, as you jump in the shallow-end head first. The apostle Paul wrote to Galatians:
Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. (Galatians 5:25 NIV)
A Spirit filled life implies one of faith and hope in Christ. Walking with the Spirit is what produces fruit for the Kingdom. However this can be mystery to many of us. When we pursue our own desires, especially those of the flesh, we put our lives in the hands of chance, even with his great wisdom of Solomon eventually gave up on this way of life. Conversely, when we remember that the Holy Spirit not only fills us and the space between us, but also walks with us, we have an opportunity to live a life with significantly fewer regrets. It starts with connecting our decisions and actions to the Word of God and asking this simple questions, “does this give me freedom”. There is always freedom in God’s way. Not, just the freedom from sin, but more importantly the freedom to give, serve, and love others. He also offers you freedom from the thoughts of anxiety, shame and guild that consume all men. But, it takes effort to remember and acknowledge the Spirit God. Remember, he has already chosen to be with you, invite him to lead your life.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1:9 NIV)