Bee has no regrets. If she does, she hasn’t told me about them. As she lies in front of the fire and sleeps peacefully, there are no signs of guilt. Only peace.
On the other hand, I have stepping stones made up of regrets that reach back into my past. A path that I avoid going down at all costs. But one that draws me to take when I am least expecting it.
I wonder about the rich young ruler who happened to meet Jesus on the road. I have to speculate, when confronted by Jesus, that he regretted his decision, and had wished he had changed his decision for the eternal life he hungered for.
“As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
“Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.’” “Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.”
Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth. Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!” (Mark 10:17-23)
Wishing we could have changed our actions is common to man. For this man, he wanted the treasures of heaven but he wasn’t willing to let go of the treasures of this earth. Feelings of guilt consumed him.
How often do we retrace our steps to see the regrets of life flash in front of us? We will never know if this wealthy man changed his mind and gave up what he was clinging to for a relationship with Jesus. But for no other reason, this passage gives me hope. Not because the man walked away, but because Jesus gave him an invitation to come back.
Bee has no regrets to erase but I do. Guilt that lingers as long as I walk down my own pathway. But there is hope. And his name is Jesus. Waiting alongside the road offering me to take on my burdens and transforming my regrets to peace.