Every choice changes our direction. We examine our options, weigh the cost/benefit ratio, and decide. Yet confidence in the benefit doesn’t eliminate regrets over the cost. A major part of spiritual formation flows from accepting that tension, and not allowing regrets to eat at our soul. Some of my best decisions have had the highest costs, but I don’t want to reset my life. Well, a little. But not enough.
Some anonymous friend
knowing my soul
gave me sub to a men’s adventure magazine
no racy pics
just kayaking killer rapids
climbing mountains that kiss the stratosphere
the latest and best gear
to go anywhere
to do anything
money no object
Perhaps the pics would have been more safe
For memories of youthful adventure flooded back
solo cross-country motorcycle trips
no destination but the ever-expanding horizon
rappelling down a 190 foot bridge tower
on a 110 foot rope
with no rope at all
ready to go
of too many years
with too few adventures
facing only hostile church boards
partners in ministry
on a small church pastor’s salary
to the adventure
that feeds my soul
Yeah, I have regrets, but I don’t regret the decision. Does that make sense? Rather than merely feeding my own soul, I opted to also feed others. I’ve not fully lived the wild, but not particularly the mild all the time either. Still doing solo backcountry fishing trips. Motorcycle tours hitting 43 states and three countries. And yes, those church boards.
But I’ve been privileged to use any gifts I have to touch others, and I cherish that, like Mary, who chose the greater good (Luke 10:38-42). Obviously, the life of adventure beckons me. Yes, the pic above is of the Rio Grande Gorge, where four of us descended the 190’ft. pillar and iron work column on the right, on a 110’ ft. rope. I’d love to do that again. I’d love to once more have a season pass at Taos Ski Valley. But, I wouldn’t go back to that life.
Following Jesus means we live the life he desires we lead, the one that best allows us to serve his mission with who we are. So, we come to the question: What can we do to best serve him? And, once we’ve chosen, let’s remember we made the best choice. The lesser choice isn’t particularly a bad one. It’s just not the best. For me, I had to leave behind some of the adventure. Others may need to abandon some of their need for security. Or comfort. Or financial success. Or…
Kick Starting the Application
What is the life that God most desires for you? How do you know that’s his optimum for you? What benefits will it bring? What costs will it have? How will you handle regrets over the cost, and they will come? Will you be able to own the regrets and still own the greater good? How?