Friday, January 11, 2008

Willingness vs. Ability

People live with too many regrets. Everyone I know is sorry about something from their past. Almost always that something is a thing that they did not do or try. A man regrets that he never went sky-diving. An elderly lady is sorry that she never told her neighbor of her true love for him. I understand the power of the regret because I have them too.
  • I wish when I was younger that I would have worked more seriously on my music.
  • I regret that I did not take school (college and seminary especially) more seriously.
  • I am sorry that I have not always made the best financial decisions for myself and my family.

Two of three of those regrets are things that I did not do. I would guess that the average probably holds for most humans- Americans at the very least.

We seem to have an aversion to taking chances. We like the safety and security of 'life as we know it.' We are comfortable, so don't rock the boat. The problem is that our caution causes us to miss out on a lot in life. We miss opportunities and adventures. We miss reunions and celebrations. We miss life because we are stuck with our 'safe' world.

This sometimes causes us trouble in our relationship to God as well. You see, God asks us to do things that we may not be happy about. (He asked me to do what I am doing three times before I said yes.) He wants us to do things out of realm of comfort. He wants us to quit doing the things that we think we love and to start doing boring things. Consequently, we hesitate and sometimes decline.

Here's the problem with this, though. When we do what God asks of us, we put ourselves in position to be blessed by God. He is able to work in our lives when we are obedient to him. When God has free rein in us, when he reigns over us, the possibilities are unlimited. The King of the world, the Ruler of the universe can do what he wants in us. However, when we disobey, we limit God's ability to do his work. That may be the most terrible regret of all.

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