Many of us crucify ourselves between two thieves-
regret for the past and fear of the future.
– Fulton Oursler, American journalist, playwright, editor and writer (converted to Christianity after writing The Greatest Story Ever Told)
When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.
– Alexander Graham Bell
Selection from the song Why by Annie Lenox
This is the book I never read
These are the words I never said
This is the path I’ll never tread
These are the dreams I’ll dream instead
This is the joy that’s seldom spread
These are the tears…
The tears we shed
This is the fear
This is the dread
These are the contents of my head
And these are the years that we have spent
And this is what they represent
And this is how I feel
Do you know how I feel?
Most of us carry regrets. There are many different kinds.
- Regrets of wasted opportunities and lost time.
- Regrets of things done and left undone.
- Regrets of decisions taken and those not taken.
- Regrets of words spoke and unspoken.
Regrets like these rob us of our peace and serenity. Often they leave us with deep feelings of guilt or remorse or even despair. We wish we could turn the clock back. But we cannot. Perhaps you will know, as I do, some of these painful effects that come from living with regrets about our past. So what can we do? We can pray the Serenity Prayer. We can ask God to help us to accept the irreparable past. But we need to back up this prayer with a few things that we can do. Finding peace does not mean doing nothing. It may grow out of prayer, but it does not stop there. It brings new intentions, new obligations, new efforts. – Trevor Hudson, The Serenity Prayer
God, give me grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish the one from the other.
Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.
– Reinhold Niebuhr
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