I’m Probably Going to Regret That

Sometimes we say things that as soon as the words come out of our mouths we think why did I say that. Often those words sneak out before we have fully thought thru the situations. How many times are we encouraged to speak what’s on our mind?  That is not always the best course of action. Abraham Lincoln once said; “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.” When I was younger I thought I always had to speak my mind but the older I become, the more I’ve realized that sometimes it’s better to follow Abe’s advice. Too many times, I’m finding it more prudent to refrain than to eat my words later. Those situations are bad enough but I want to talk about those times when you say something that sounds so innocent but end up being something that you later regret.

I like to imagine what some throughout history may have uttered just before their moments of truth.  Goliath all but said, “Like I’m afraid of a little boy with a slingshot.” I’m sure Custer probably said something to his men along the lines of “This looks like a nice safe place to camp.” The captain of the Titanic may have thought, “It’s only a little ice. How can it hurt?” We’ll never know if any of these statements were ever made because these individuals didn’t live to regret having said them.  Luckily we don’t always have to pay such a steep price when we say things that we later regret.

In last week’s post I wrote about my wife’s making memories statement and how it bit her back a little.  She was correct in the sense that we did purchase a tent after that first camping encounter and enjoyed several memorable camping trips when our kids were younger.  Even though I refused to camp as we were traveling, I must admit that I really enjoyed when we camped as a destination.  You know back to nature, fresh air and all that stuff.  We even camped with other families and had a great time.  One time we, along with a couple of other families from church, spent a long weekend at a state park about an hour from home.  I’m not sure missing church on Sunday had anything to do with what happened on our last day but I know that my wife paid dearly for a statement she made prior to an activity on that final day.  Before we broke camp, we decided to go hiking with one of the families.  We had followed a trail until we came to a fork in the path and a sign.  If this had been a movie, the audience would have been screaming, “Go back, you idiots!”  Now would be an appropriate time for a Rod Serling voice over, ” There’s a sign post up ahead.  You have just entered the Twilight Zone.”  Hard to believe that such an innocuous looking sign would precede such dire consequences.  All the sign said was: Trail head 5 mile hike.  Both myself and the other dad, along with the kids, were basically content with having enjoyed all that nature had already offered  so we were going to retrace our steps to camp.  Both moms gleefully blurted out that phrase that has lived in infamy in our family, “Let’s go on the five mile hike.  It’ll be fun.!”  Words equivalent to the Donner party saying, “We’ll be thru that pass in no time flat.”  With great trepidation, we began that fateful hike.  I noticed that the further along the trail we went the less the trail appeared to have been blazed.   Our youngest was about 5 or 6 at the time, and I put her on my shoulders because I feared she would get lost in the weeds.  Picture every jungle movie with porters making a trail with machetes and you might be able to imagine our journey.  I kept thinking I was hearing jungle drums and the sound of little pygmy feet all around us but it was probably just my mind playing tricks on me.  I don’t have an irrational fear of snakes but this was the kind of place that snakes would go to have a convention that I surely would not want to attend.  Everyone but the moms wanted to turn back but they were still insistent on “having fun”.  I don’t believe it would have been possible anyway because the path was being taken back by the jungle almost as soon as we passed.  We finally reached a fence marking the edge of the state park and began to circle back.  We had hoped that was at least the halfway point but had no idea because any signs marking the trial were non-existent.  The kids were ready to stake out one of the moms to distract the pygmies if they had said one more time, “It can’t be too much further.”  We finally made it back to civilization and didn’t manage to lose any of our party.  I would never wish ill will on my wife but sometimes justice prevails.  It seems that the only long term consequence of our trek through the wilds of Cedars of Lebanon was that both mothers developed raging cases of poison ivy. (At least I think it was poison ivy and not poison pygmy darts.)  Our kids are adults now, but to this day whenever they are faced with an opportunity that may have questionable wisdom, their response is often, “Let’s go on a five mile hike.  It’ll be fun.”  As my wife bathed herself in calamine lotion, I’m sure she regretted her unfortunate prediction.

With all that being said, I am so glad that Jesus made a statement on the cross as He faced His moment of truth.  He did it without regret, already knowing the result and the price that would have to be paid.  “It is finished.”  He had done everything that needed to be done.  There was no looking back.  Sometimes I look back on situations and regret that I said something that may have precipitated the events.  Jesus knew exactly what He was saying and what it would mean to Him and for us.


When Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” Then bowing His head, He gave up His spirit

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