A Time of Regret

Written by Pastor Eric Everhart

What is one thing we use everyday, we never have enough of it, we can’t slow it down, we cannot make more of it, and when it’s gone we cannot get it back? Answer: Time

As I look back on my life, the one big regret I can say that I have is how I used my time. Growing up, my grandfather was a vital role model in my life as my own father was absent. He was there for me when nobody else was. I learned so much from this man of God and I know without a doubt that I wouldn’t be where I am today without his love, discipline, and his wisdom. 

As I entered my teen years and the business of life took hold, time with my role model didn’t fit into my schedule. Football, work, girlfriends, school work, surfing, and anything else I could squeeze in–these things took up my time. Before I knew it, I was a senior in high school and I was focused on what my future held. Meanwhile, my grandfather’s health took a turn for the worse. At the beginning of my senior year, my grandfather was hospitalized for a severe case of Alzheimers. He could not care for himself and my grandmother was too weak to tend to his needs. He was placed in a home for daily care.

At first, I would go over to the home to help feed him, help with his care, and just spend time with him. However, as the year dragged on, my visits became less frequent as the business of my life took over. Visiting four days a week became two, then once, and then not at all. I was so busy that I would only visit once every couple weeks. 

Then I remember getting that call…. “Eric, your grandfather passed away this morning.” This rocked me to the core, I just couldn’t believe it! I was so mad at God and at the world! But then it hit me, where was I, where did the time go? I couldn’t get back the time I missed, I couldn’t create more time, and that time has gone forever. If only I would have spent more time with my grandfather. If only I would have made time. If only I could go back, I would have had different priorities. This reality hurt worse than anything and a part of me still holds on to some pain and regret. 

I’m reminded about the story of Mary and Martha. These women welcomed Jesus into their home. We all know having guests comes with an unspoken responsibility of making sure “everything” is just right, serving your guests well, feeding your guests, and entertaining them. As Jesus joined the women at their home, Martha was “busy” getting these things ready, preparing the food, and making everything just right. Mary on the other hand, chose not to do any of those things but instead sat at the feet of Jesus, listening to him teach. You can imagine and feel, as scripture points out, the frustration on Martha’s part. She is busy making sure everything is just right and her sister is just sitting around. Martha didn’t hold back when she questioned Jesus about it, “Master, don’t you care that my sister has abandoned the kitchen to me? Tell her to lend me a hand.”

Jesus’ response should ring in our ears as we go about our “busy” lives today, “Martha, dear Martha, you’re fussing far too much and getting yourself worked up over nothing. One thing only is essential, and Mary has chosen it—it’s the main course, and won’t be taken from her.” (MSG)

Not all the things that occupy our time are in and of themselves bad, but, we need to be careful about making sure our priorities are right. We have to make sure that we are not just “busy” people but that we are “being” present. Jesus tells Martha that Mary has it right, she has chosen the right course. Don’t miss the opportunity to “be” because you are too busy “doing”.

What does your daily schedule look like? Are you a Martha or Mary? 

“And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?” Matthew 16:26

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