Friday, March 21, 2014

Focus Friday: Let's Focus on Regret

These Friday posts have turned out to be different than I imagined they would be when I started them a few months ago. I thought I would be exploring how important it is to have our focus on God as we go through life. I thought I would be digging deep into that concept and sharing verses and ideas to keep our focus on Him.

It hasn't exactly gone the way I had planned, but I'm not unhappy with the results so far. As I look back, I see that we've spent most of our Fridays contemplating something that I've been focused on that week. Love. birthdays, money...we've talked about what I'm focused on. I hope it's come through that ultimately our focus on God trumps anything else we're thinking about. 

Keeping our focus on Him gives us the clarity to look at everything in our lives and see it with more wisdom and discernment. This week we're going to dive a little deeper into that idea as we focus on regret.

I'm sure almost everyone lives with regret in some form. It may be little things like constantly forgetting to send a birthday card to a niece or nephew, serving frozen pizza one too many times to your family, or eating the last of the Girl Scout cookies without sharing. It could also be big things like having an abortion, lying to a spouse, or betraying a close friend.

It could also be one of those in between things over which you have very little control. Something like breaking your ankle and ruining vacation plans to hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon.

I am living with that regret right now. Last Sunday night I was taking a picture of Gary at church and decided to try to get one more shot from a different angle. My camera battery was running low, so I was looking at the camera and hurrying to get down the two little steps from our stage. All of a sudden I was falling and I don't even know exactly what happened. When Gary asked if I was okay, I said "No," but I didn't realize how bad it was until he said, "Don't move, it's broken. I'm calling for an ambulance." He gingerly extended my foot onto the step and as I glanced down at my feet I could see my left foot jutting off at an odd angle. That can't be good, I thought.

My next thought was one of despair. Our trip to hike the Grand Canyon - ruined in just a few short seconds. I said I was sorry a few times, but Gary wasn't worried about that. He just focused on getting me to the hospital so they could take care of the break. Our week has been much different than we had originally planned as we've gone through surgery and getting me home and adjusting to my lack of mobility.

It's hard to show yourself grace when something like this happens. I've gone over and over Sunday night in my head. If I had just slowed down a little, watched the steps instead of my camera, been more wouldn't have happened. I could have gone home and kept training for our trip in April.

Thoughts like that are useless. It happened and we can do nothing about that now. It's just time to adjust to broken bones and move on from here. It's time to be thankful that it wasn't worse. It's time to look forward to healing and a different trip to the Canyon in a year or two. 

Focusing on the regret itself - however big or small it may be - does nothing to improve our lives. It just keeps us stuck with negative feelings and insecurities. Dealing with the consequences (if possible) and then moving on with God's help will help us become more like the women (and men) God has created us to be. 

I wish I hadn't broken my ankle, of course, but I'm going to try not to focus on those feelings of regret. I hope you'll let go of your regrets, no matter how big or small they may be.

"Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:13-14 NIV)

Are you living with any regrets right now? What can you do to leave them behind and press on with your focus on God instead?

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