God wants us to think about the shortness of our lives (Psalm 90:12; James 4:14). He wants us to ponder eternity (1 Pet. 1:3-9). I’ve been doing more of that lately, and as I've pondered, I've jotted down some reflections. More specifically, I've written down regrets I don’t want to have on my deathbed.
1. I don’t want to regret the only time I read and studied God’s Word was when I had to teach or preach for the people of the church. I want to be able to say, “I read and studied God’s Word because I wanted to know and love God for Himself.”
2. I don’t want to regret the only time I was diligent in prayer was when I wanted God to do something for me. I want to be able to say, “I spent time in prayer just to praise God for who He is and enjoy communing with Him in prayer."
3. I don’t want to regret not devoting enough time and energy to the spiritual nourishment of my wife. Husbands are called to spiritually minister to their wives (Eph. 5:25-33). I want to be able to say, “I did that to the best of my ability!"
4. I don’t want to regret not discipling my children. Fathers are explicitly told to bring their children up in the training and instruction of the Lord (Eph. 6:4). I want to be able to say, “That was my fatherly commitment!"
5. I don’t want to regret being physically present, but mentally absent when I was with my family. Unwittingly, I would communicate to them they aren’t as important as the topic I’m preoccupied with at that moment. I want to be able to say, “When I was with them, I was really with them!"
6. I don’t want to regret being stingy with money. The gospel screams “Generosity!” (2 Cor. 8:9). I want to be able to say, “Our family gave sacrificially for the good of the church and the glory of God!"
7. I don’t want to regret being a “stick in the mud” with my family. I can be overly serious and way too intense. I want to be able to say, “I worked hard to make sure our family laughed and had fun together.”
What about you? What regrets do you NOT want to have on your deathbed?
Let's take a break from the serious stuff. I couldn't believe this! Here's a father and his daughter having a friendly beatbox competition. Wow!
Many of you know I like the game of golf. This past weekend was enjoyable for me because one of golf's major championships was being played in my own state: the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits in Kohler, WI.
I realize many of you probably find golf to be a complete snore. That's OK. For most of my life I would have agreed with you. So if I mention the name 'Rory McIlroy,' that likely means nothing to you. McIlroy is in his mid-20's and is one of professional golf's young phenoms.
Since picking up the game six years ago, I've developed a fascination with good golfers because, frankly, I stink. Watching a young star like McIlroy is mesmerizing. So when a TV commercial for Omega Watches featuring McIlroy came on, I viewed with interest.
There's a lot to like about this commercial for a golfer like me. Watching him hit a golf ball that likely went over 300 yards is sweet! The videography, which is so excellently done, adds to the drama. And the song used? It's a sweet sounding tune, that's for sure! I watched and listened over and over again, but then I read the lyrics to the song:
Yeah, you can be the greatest
You can be the best
You can be the King Kong banging on your chest
You can beat the world
You can beat the war
You can talk to God, go banging on his door
You can go the distance
You can run the mile
You can walk straight through hell with a smile
Standing in the hall of fame (yeah)
And the world's gonna know your name (yeah)
'Cause you burn with the brightest flame (yeah)
And the world's gonna know your name (yeah)
And you'll be on the walls of the hall of fame
Hmmm...this reminds me of what occurred in the Garden of Eden. Eve looked at the forbidden fruit and saw it was "pleasing to the eye" (Gen. 3:6).
Sometimes we can be so overwhelmed by the beauty a message is wrapped in we never stop to think about the message itself. We find the package so desirable, we never stop to ask if what's inside it is good for us. The flash catches our attention, we're drawn in, and automatically think to ourselves, "this is great!"
That's what I did! But then I realized, "I just celebrated a message that diminishes God and makes arrogant boasts about another human being!" How did that happen? Just because something is pleasing to the eyes and ears doesn't mean we should celebrate it. Beware: the deceiving power of beauty.