Sunday, December 8, 2013

No regrets

This week has been crazy, we are only 2 weeks away from finishing the semester, and it seems like everything is due all at once!!! Even though it gets crazy, we always set aside Friday night for date night. This Friday we went to a performance on campus called "Opera Scenes". They perform scenes from different operas, rather than showing one long one. One of the operas was written by a student in the music department, and it was very emotional.

This opera was about a very dysfunctional family. There was a mom and dad and a son (about 18 years old). The parents were very wealthy and spent their time with their upper-class friends and catching up on all the latest gossip. They are having a birthday party for their son, who neither of them know very well. They are both so caught up in their money and social status that they don't have time for him. The son comes in to ask the dad if he can talk to him about something important, and his father yells at him to not bother him and to ask his mom instead. The son wanted to introduce his fiance to his parents, but because of his father's reaction, he leaves the house without another word. As he is outside telling his fiance that they need to run away and start a new life together, the father comes outside for a smoke. He mistakes his own son for the paper boy, and tells him how much this paper boy reminds him of his own son.  He then proceeds to tell "the paper boy" (who is actually his son) how disappointed he is in his son. After the father goes back inside a thief runs up and tries to steal the fiance's bag. In trying to protect his fiance, the boy gets shot twice and dies. His parents run outside and see that the person shot is their son. In realizing that their little boy is gone they suddenly regret everything they had spent their time doing. They cry about how if they could go back and do things over again, they would do everything so differently.

I have to admit, I bawled my eyes out. It was heart-wrenching to think that someone might be taken suddenly from me. What if I was left regretting the last words I spoke to them, or the way I treated them, or the things that I never said to them? I would be devastated if that happened to me. I think I would spend a lot of time wishing that I could do things over again.

Of course, life doesn't work that way; we don't get to go back in time and do things over again. I think God wants us to recognize that we don't know what will happen, so that we will take advantage of our time.  He wants us to live correctly all the time so that we won't be left with regrets. He knows we will make mistakes, and that is okay. What he doesn't want is for us to procrastinate, thinking "Oh, I'll get to it later." He wants us to show love and kindness to those around us now. He wants us to build family relationships now. He wants us to put our priorities in order now.

Because it's Christmas, I'm sure there will be a lot of time being spent with family. Even if you don't have a good relationship with some of your family members, God can help you mend those bridges. He can help you forgive each other now so that you don't regret later all the time you wasted being upset with each other. I would encourage everyone to express their feelings to those they love most, especially if you aren't the type to say it often. Maybe words aren't the best way for you to communicate, but it's important that others know your feelings.  You need to say it or write it to them. Don't expect them to just "know" by the way you treat them. Tell them that you're proud of them and that you care for them. It doesn't take a lot, but it will mean a lot later.

I know that sometimes it feels like life is just too busy to spend our time chatting with others, or playing pretend with the little kids or going for a walk with a friend. I think we feel this way because of all the responsibilities that hang over us. Go to work, get the car fixed, turn in that report, make dinner, clean the house, do the laundry, walk the dog, etc... And indeed we truly are busy. I would only suggest that you forego some of the business so that you can spend time on things that really matter. =)

There is a great video from the mormonchannel on YouTube that illustrates this. I think you'll like it.

I hope that we all take time to slow down and focus on what matters most. You won't regret it.

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