My life has been full of regret. Full of it. From my choices in men to those shoes that cut into the back of my heels, I am constantly regretting the choices I make.
I regret that pint of ice cream I consumed in two sittings (in the same day). I regret not going out of state for college. I regret getting a divorce. I regret buying that German car when I should have stuck with my trusty Japanese brand. I regret the way I have spoken to my mother and I regret not speaking to my father at all.
Of all these regrets, there is one situation that stands out in my mind. I think about it from time to time and it always makes me feel remorseful. It’s amazing how a scene that didn’t even last 60 seconds could impact me more than a decade later. I’ve never actually shared this with anyone, so I am hoping this exercise will provide a cleansing of my conscience in some sort of way.
Years ago, perhaps 10 or more, I was leaving Wa.l.mart back in Collegetown. As I exited the building, a girl my age approached me and asked if I would like to have my car washed and enjoy a cool beverage while I waited. She said both the car wash and the drink were free.
“Free?” I asked cynically. “Why is it free?”
She smiled and said, “we just want to do something nice.”
She reached into the cooler and handed me a no-name root beer.
“Oh, it’s CHEAP root beer!” I laughed and walked away.
As I got in my car and drove off, declining the free car wash and the budget beverage, I saw a sign that identified the group as belonging to a local church. This was long before I was acquainted with Jesus and so I did not understand Christian kindness and the benevolent act of serving people and expecting nothing in return.
Still, my heathen mentality was no excuse for rudeness and I have thought about that moment pretty regularly every since. Who did I think I was? This young lady was offering me a cold drink on a hot day and I was making fun of her because it wasn’t B.a.r.qs or AandW?
To this day I am embarrassed at my behavior. If I could, I would apologize to her and her group. I was young, immature and clearly on a different level back then.
Thankfully, I have come to know Jesus since that time and have found myself ministering to the public in various capacities. How would I have felt if the day I was passing out lunches to homeless people under bridges someone scoffed at me for giving them bologna instead of turkey?
There are still situations where I come across as kind of snooty, and that’s because I kinda am. But I know, yes I KNOW, that I am no better than anyone else. And you can bet your bottom dollar that a situation like the one above will never happen again.
Do you have any regrets?