Mrs. Jones, my kindergarten teacher, had just explained to us what “Show & Tell Day” was. This was the first time I had ever heard of such a thing, and I was very excited about it. All the students were going to get to bring things from home, show them off, and tell about the item. Such a great way to get to know my classmates a little better, and a great way to let them know more about myself. We were all, pretty much, new to each other. I quickly began to look around the room and wonder, “What will Julie bring? Ooh, what will Tammy bring? Shane, what will Shane bring?” It was very exciting, and then I focused back on myself. What would I bring? How would I decide what was the best item to bring? This provided endless possibilities for me. I really wanted to “wow” the crowd. So, I decided on the best, most amazing, most interesting thing I had in my house…the brain.
My father was the only doctor in the small town where I grew up. His father was a doctor as well. I was raised around labs full of things in jars: gall stones, body parts, small animals, insects, and one human brain. I was only five, so I had no idea this was probably not exactly normal for most people. It was normal for me though, and I thought it was great. I couldn’t wait until my dad came home that evening so I could tell him all about the magnificent “Show & Tell Day” coming up and be granted the required permission to bring the brain to school. Unfortunately, my father did not have the same enthusiasm about my idea, and despite my pitiful protests, I did not get to take the brain to school.
In the years since, I have tried to remember what I did take for Show & Tell that day. But, try as I may, I only remember what I did not get to take. Funny how, sometimes, the thing that we did not get to do leaves a lasting impression on us. Good or bad, right or wrong, doesn’t make a difference, just the longing for what was not. That can be summed up in one little word…regret. It is the regret we feel about something we think we missed out on that we should have had. The “what if?” from our past.
My father was being a father. I was only a five year old child. What I thought was just a fantastic idea, he was protecting me from. It really wasn’t a fantastic idea to take a human brain to a classroom full of kindergarten kids under those circumstances. He did what he thought was right. He understood circumstances and consequences better than I did because he was my father. Our heavenly father is exactly the same way. He doesn’t just understand circumstances and consequences, He knows everything! The eyes of the Lord are everywhere, observing the wicked and the good. Proverbs 15:3 In Jeremiah 29 we are assured that He has a plan for us, For I know the plans I have for you”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope, verse 11. So, while you may be really disappointed you didn’t land that perfect job at that perfect company in that perfect state on the other side of the nation, your heavenly father has a plan for you. Understanding and submitting to God’s will is a vital part of Christian life. We must have the faith to accept His plan for us even when we don’t understand it.
Many people spend time pondering the regrets of their lives, myself included. But the truth is, that everything I did not get to experience has been part of a very meticulous plan for me. It all brought me to where I am now. To have regret over something is not a bad thing. Regret can bring about major life changes for the good. However, to drown in your regret and not be able to move beyond it is a bad thing. That is of the devil. Anything that is keeping you from having your mind on the Lord and works of His kingdom is a trick of Satan. But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. 2 Corinthians 11:3 Our devotion to Christ is a simple and pure act, and something God wants from us. He wants our minds on Him. It is Satan’s job to keep us from doing it, and he uses all manner of things to be successful…including regret.
I still wonder sometimes what would have happened if my father had allowed me to take the brain to Show & Tell. I have also wondered what my life would have been like if I had never accepted the Lord, Jesus Christ, as my Savior. I would not trade my life as it is now for all the money, fame, or treasures the whole world has to offer if it meant I had to give up my salvation. Thank you, dear Lord, for my salvation and for the many blessings you have bestowed upon me.
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