Living Without Regrets

A Body Larger Than Life

“I just left him at 4:30. It is just so senseless and so preventable,” my brother said to me on the telephone.

My brother is the musical director for several popular mainstream artists and he had been at the hospital all night because one of his friends and tour mates was murdered. Another one of his friends was critically injured. They all had just spent the afternoon together rehearsing. The incident made national headlines because of the artist they are working with. My brother stayed at the hospital for hours during the surgery that saved one of his friends’ life. The other, he would never see again.

This was just another horrible reminder for us about the preciousness and precariousness of life. I recall the night I called my brother to tell him about my husband’s sudden and unexpected death. He broke down in tears. We all couldn’t believe it. It was such a shock. He died so quickly that we never had the chance to say goodbye.

These tragedies are more reminders that we as believers must be very intentional about our relationships and how we deal with others. You never know if you’re going to get another opportunity to speak to a person again. You don’t want to go through life regretting not taking the chance to minister to or reach out to someone you love or to someone God’s placed on your heart. The Holy Spirit brings people to our remembrance all the time, but how often do we take the time to reach out to them?

In Acts 16:9-10, Paul receives a vision in the night of a man in Macedonia crying out to them for help. Paul doesn’t waste time speculating about the vision. They go immediately to Macedonia to minister to the people. This is the kind of sensitivity to the Holy Spirit and obedience God desires of all of us. Imagine how many lives we could touch and help transform if we hearkened unto God’s voice and reached out to people.

The season of Lent began on February 18th with Ash Wednesday. As a minister, when we administer the ashes to people’s foreheads, we say, “From dust thou art, to dust thou shalt return.” We say this to remind believers of life’s fleeting nature and of our frailties. We are nothing but dirt. As a result, we must do as the Bible admonishes in Psalm 90:12. “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (NIV). Seize every opportunity God gives you to reach out to a loved one, friend, co-worker, and the people around you. You never know the eternal impact it will have. It’s the only way we can truly live a life free from regrets.

Lauren Jones (@revlaurelj) is an Itinerant Elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church and serves in the Columbia, SC metropolitan area. As a widow, she balances ministry and motherhood to two rambunctious children. She blogs about her adventures at www.throwupandtheology.com. When she’s not preaching, writing, or changing diapers, she raises awareness about epilepsy and the devastating effects of drunk driving as a volunteer speaker for Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). She self-published “I’m Singing This Song to You,” a letter to her children in honor of her late husband available for purchase on Amazon.

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