If you’ve lost a loved one, then you will understand this scenario: I’m preparing to teach elementary music when my eyes fall on the 5th Grade Chorus music—Bile That Cabbage Down. I choke and a tear springs to my eye because it brings back a very fond memory of my father who passed away in 2009. He didn’t play the guitar often and he didn’t sing often, but when he was being silly, he would sing this song while playing the guitar… and I loved to hear it! My dad, who was very private with his feelings and not an “in front of people” guy, could be so different in the shelter of our home. He was silly! He loved to tease. Oh, the memory just makes my heart ache for him!
Then my next thought stopped me short. I wish I had…
- Spent more time with him
- Not wasted so many moments being a rebellious teen. (One summer we rode to work together and they were the most silent rides of my life! Why didn’t I try harder to talk to him? I hear you saying, “But he should have talked to you.” True, but now he’s gone.)
- Worked harder to know him better
- Been more patient with him
Even though these are relatively minor regrets, they do come to mind and bring with them a lesson for today that I would urgently suggest you consider…
- Spend more time with people than your computer
- Get out of your comfort zone and SAY SOMETHING!
- Work at family relationships. They can become so strained by miscommunications, lack of time together, morbid self-introspection, jealousy, selfishness, and just plain meanness
- Be more patient, especially with elderly folks and teens. These are two groups of special needs people. We’ve all either been there or will be there! Teens bark more than they bite, and I have yet to be bitten by one because I started a conversation. And as a pre-older person 🙂 (OK, so I might not be speaking the truth in my heart!) I’m beginning to understand the aches and pains, the disappointments life seems to throw at us, and the frightening thought that time is changing more than I can handle.
You may say…
- “But I can’t!” Are you sure?
- “You don’t understand.” No, but God does!
- “It’s impossible.” But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26).
- “It won’t change anything.” Oh, but you don’t know until you try! Sometimes we are so busy looking for the other person to change that we fail to realize the change that needs to happen in our own hearts!
Sometimes, when counseling with someone or in a teaching moment when I’ve tried to encourage someone to make right choices and do the hard thing, I wish that I could play back all the excuses I hear. But then there are those precious moments when the listener hears with a heart surrendered to do God’s will, and I know there’s hope for that one!
I hope this challenge blesses and changes you—I know it has touched my heart! I needed it. Praise the Lord!