Friday, August 13, 2004

Living Life Without Regrets

The other day, my friend Christine came over and watched "13 Going on 30" with me. (Ron was in the other room watching "Hellboy" on my computer's DVD player.)

After watching that movie, I got to thinking, "I wonder what other people would be like if they could see themselves from the perspective they had at 13." In the movie, Jenna went from being blindfolded at her 13th birthday party to waking up as a 30-year-old single woman living with her boyfriend. She found out that she (as if she hadn't skipped all those years) was the kind of person who slept around, screwed people out of great opportunities and didn't seem to care who she hurt. Coming from her 13-year-old perspective, she decided that wasn't the kind of person she wanted to be.

Fortunately, she got a chance to go back to being 13 and live her life knowing what to avoid. It's too bad some of the rest of us couldn't go back and change things.

I had a boss one time who conspired with a coworker of mine to get me fired. Of course, I didn't know that until after I left, but I knew there was a lot going on behind my back. I wonder if my boss would still have done that if she could have seen herself like that as a 13-year-old girl. I think she would have been horrified! But she didn't. (I did find out, though, that both my former boss and that former coworker were later fired.)

I think it would be healthy if we could all stop for a while and really ponder what we would think of ourselves now if we were looking at our lives as if we were still 13. Would we be disgusted with what kind of people we turned out to be?

Hopefully, we can all live our lives with the perspective of how we wanted to be perceived by others when we were younger. Live without regrets. Were you the kind of boy/girl who was well-respected and who cared about others? Are you still? I am, but I've had a lot of opportunities to grow as a person because of being hospitalized a lot as a kid. I saw things that would make other people cringe with pain. I realized that people need caring people, and that being a jerk never helps anyone.

I'm not writing this to any one particular person; I'm writing based on a deep thought. But if it gives you a wake-up call, pay attention to it.


dart said...

I saw the previews. It looks like a female version of Tom Hanks' movie Big.

I think if we were to live up to our age thirteen dreams we'd be even more narcissistic and immature than ever. Maybe it's not a helpful thought.

I think the Gospel erases regret. If we're serious about what we believe, teach, and confess, we live lives free from guilt and regret.

Mrs. T. Swede said...

As Christians, we shouldn't have regrets, but as sinners, we often do. The Gospel is comforting, yes. But sometimes it is difficult to listen to the Gospel because we feel so badly about what has been said or done. We're reminded often of our sin through the Law, so it is wonderful when we can look to the Gospel and know that God has forgiven us. Forgiveness from others is often difficult to receive.