Every morning I get out of bed, skip breakfast so I can make a big one later, and drop off my wife at work. Our TV doesn’t work, and I don’t subscribe to a major newspaper, so most of the news I get briefed on comes from the radio in the car. Emily and I happily listen to NPR every morning as well as other stations that might strike our fancy.
This morning I happened to tune into 101.9, the “Mix”. If you hail from Chicago, you’ll know this station well. They were talking about an interesting book compiled by a nurse. This nurse tended to those on their death bed, and being at the bedside for countless people she heard many of her patients dying regrets in life. She compiled the top regrets into a book. I didn’t catch the book name, nor did they mention the author, which I wish they would have mentioned.
They did talk briefly about the single most mentioned regret that the nurse heard. After considering the entirety of their lives, “working too much” was the most mentioned.
Why did they work too much? What was the problem? That’s a question that could have millions of answers, but I’m sure answers like “money, prosperity, happiness, nice house, nice car” is what composes much of the working classes motives.
More compelling, and striking to the heart, is the question Why did they come to this conclusion? Why after a lifetime of good hard honest work, did they realize “Wow, I worked so much, but lived little.” Wouldn’t they be proud of their accomplishments? Perhaps thats why on peoples tombstones loved ones don’t put, “He worked hard all his life.” Maybe after all has been said and done, work really isn’t the all in all.
Perhaps they suddenly realize all that they worked for, was in vain. Death the ultimate sure thief, comes and takes away all that is precious.
When someone prepares for a disaster, they make sure they have means to survive for when the storm passes over. Survival requires you to look beyond the disaster. Before a hurricane, you stock up on fresh water and canned goods, because after that storm you may not know what will be available. Your world is going to change.
If people spend as much effort looking at what might be beyond the grave with as much effort as they spend working all their lives for something that will be taken away, death won’t be so much of a thief. But merely a transition. And regrets? A vapor of a memory for those who put their trust in the one who has already conquered the grave. Jesus Christ our Lord!!
If you haven’t struggled through that in your life, I invite you to. Work, labor, struggle, wrestle with this question. Where am I going? That is a question worth working towards an answer!!