Two stories from this chapter on Prevent Regret that you need to read. Here's the first: "When my son John was very small, he loved to play with machines and gadgets by the hour. One day, when he was three, he had been working with a tape recording for an hour or so. Finally, he looked up at his mom and said, "Mom, you know what the trouble with life is?" "No, I don't. What's the trouble with life?" "Then a three-year-old boy sitting on the floor, who had thoroughly reflected on both Fisher-Price technology and the condition of human existence, made one of the most profound observations of life I have ever heard: "The trouble with life," he said, "is that it doesn't have a rewind button."
The point Ortberg is driving home in this chapter is that we need to ask ourselves what we're doing (or not doing) with our lives now that could lead to deep regret? Are we focusing on what's really important? Will we wake up one day and wish we had invested more time in things that really matter? Will we wish that life had a rewind button? Now that's pretty thought provoking (a euphemism for guilt producing) by itself, but he drive sit home with this story:
He talks about Scottish writer and historian Thomas Carlyle, who had married his secretary, Jane Welsh. "She was highly intelligent and attractive, and she continued to serve as Carlyle's secretary after their marriage. Sometime later, Jane became ill. Carlyle, sho was perhaps not tempted too much by money, was deeply devoted to this work. He did not seem to notice his wife's will health much. He was absorbed in what he was doing and allowed her to continue working. But she had cancer; eventually she was confined to her bed. Although Thomas truly loved her. he found he did not have much time to stay with her or much attention to give her.
After several years, Jane died. The day of her funeral was stormy; hey carried her body to the churchyard through the rain and mud. Carlyle later returned to a house that was suddenly shatteringly empty. He went upstairs to Jane's room and sat in the chair next to her bed, the chair he had had so little time for. He noticed her diary lying on the table next to her bed. He picked it up and began to read. On one entire page she had written a single line: "Yesterday he spent an hour with me and it was like heaven; I love him so."
See why I wanted to draw you into this? Conviction loves company! But the warning is pretty clear isn't it? There are no rewind button's on life. Are there ways you're living your life right now that someday you're going to wish that you had done it differently? And maybe the followup question is harder still--are you willing to make the necessary changes that will allow you to avoid regret later?
Any guys still want to go to the men's retreat?