Resolved, That I Will Live So As I Shall Wish I Had Done When I Come To Die

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I came across this Jonathon Edward’s resolution in a book I am reading, and it gave me pause and direction to consider how I spend my time, my life.

Will I look back in regret on my life, wishing I had put my limited energy to other endeavors?

Here is what I have decided.

I will never regret the time I spend communing with God. I will never regret times of prayer and reading the Word. I won’t regret mornings of coming before God with praise and petition and worship. I won’t regret times of confession, repentance and asking for direction. One thing I have learned about this chronic pain life is that it often gives us ample, uninterrupted time alone. And in that isolation, I will never regret the times I used it to know God and be known in return.

I will never regret the time I spend investing in people. I won’t regret the times I schedule for meeting friends and talking to family on the phone. I won’t regret putting my limited energy towards conversations with people I love or listening to my client’s speak about their lives. I won’t regret putting other seemingly necessary tasks to the side. Dishes and laundry and cleaning the bathroom can wait; it is people who will be worth it in the end.

I will never regret the time I spend maintaining and giving life to my physical body. When you have chronic pain, so much time is spent simply maintaining a broken body. But I realize I won’t regret this effort. I won’t regret the time I spend resting, pacing myself, or saying no to things my body cannot handle. I won’t regret the time spent on exercising, walking, and cooking nourishing foods. I won’t regret doing all of these necessary things that can seem like such a waste of time, but in the end allow me to be more faithful with what I have been given.

I will never regret the time I spend giving and serving. It is those times of maintaining my body that allow me to give and serve. And I won’t regret the effort I put into counseling at my jobs or serving in small ways I am able.  I won’t regret putting my limited energy towards making a meal for a friend or visiting someone who needs company. I won’t regret time spent investing in the online chronic pain community or finding creative ways to serve from my couch.

I will never regret the time I spend learning and growing. I won’t regret the times spent reading, studying, and contemplating. I won’t regret learning about theology, counseling, social issues, or this world. I won’t regret the lists and bullet points and outlines of subjects that are near and dear to my heart. Time spent learning and growing is always  time well spent.

What will I regret?

It is mainly this that comes to mind: I will regret those times of guilt when I felt like I should be doing something that I was physically unable to do. I will regret those times when I lived not in the moment, but in a place far far away, inaccessible to me and the life I was given. I will regret those times when I wished so hard for life to be a different way, that it took away my ability to live the life I had.

Those are the moments I will regret. Those times when I could neither rest nor work, but lived in a state of restlessness. Those time when I neither took care of my body nor invested in other people, because I pushed myself beyond my limits. Those times when I was too busy thinking about what was not and what I couldn’t have, that I never took hold of the good things right in front of me.

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10 responses

  1. You are such a beautiful writer! I’m glad you have taken this perspective at such a young age. As a rule, these realizations don’t dawn until much later in life, when so much time is gone and so little is left. How’s the book coming?

    • Ah thank you so much for all of your encouragement! I am at a bit of a standstill with the book. It is kind of finished in rough form, but I feel like I need the help of a professional editor to get it ready for print. But I can’t really pay for one! So, it’s a bit of a dilemma, and I am considering how to move forward 🙂

  2. I to echo the thoughts of Marline, thank you for writing and posting this! I am the type of person that needs to be reminded of the basics. And you have captured it so beautifully and eloquently.

  3. Ditto on Nancy and Mar line’s comments. You are gifted with words and I will never regret reading a post from you.
    Thank you putting that perspective back at the forefront. I definitely need to rediscover it for my situation now. We used to swim in it when my dad had cancer and years after he died, leading to years of celebrating life. But reading your post makes me realize I have not truly revisited it profoundly since. Thanks you are the best.

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