“If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves….” I John 1:8
I do a lot of that these days. I suppose it’s human, seeing as how I’m about to hit birthday number 79 in a few days. There are a lot of days back there to look at! I’m so grateful to be active and energetic and still in the Lord’s field working alongside younger men and women called to His work.
The days behind me far outnumber those in front.
I do not sit around wallowing in regrets, let me make plain. But sometimes before rising in the morning, I lie there reflecting on times gone by, experiences in churches I served, remembering when my family was young, calling to mind conversations and decisions.
I have many a regret.
I wish I’d said ‘no’ to a lot of requests. As a young husband and father and ambitious pastor, I accepted many an invitation to speak or travel or serve on a board because it felt like the very opportunity for which the Lord had called me and for which I’d been prepared. But it took me away from my young children and my over-wrought wife.
Did I really need to serve as a trustee of that denominational board? It required me to travel out of state a half dozen times a year, two or three days at a whack. Over a four-year term, that adds up to a lot of time away.
I think about the two weeks I spent in Singapore helping the missionaries conceive an evangelistic comic book at the time my three children were 10, 13, and 16. Such critical ages, so formative, so needy of their father to be hands-on. Poor Margaret, looking after them, doing all the things a faithful mother does, chauffeuring them to everything, and all the while working on her degree from the local university. What was I thinking?