07/02/2023 by Rev. Doug Walker 0 Comments
As seen in the HEARTbeat and the Village Voice.
It’s human nature for us to look backward in our lives; it’s just human nature. As often as we do, we only look back to our young adult days, or maybe even into high school. We regret we didn’t apply ourselves more in our studies because, “I could have been a doctor now!” We regret taking the easy road thereby not requiring more study and less socializing! Oh what lives we would have now if we had only _________ (fill in the blank). Remember this however, hindsight is always 20/20 as is said.
As adults we question a lot, plan a lot, and conduct retrospection a lot. We do it with relationships, with career paths, with incomplete “bucket lists” and so forth. We desire the very best, but the cost is sometimes more than we are willing to invest. My father told me at a young age, “You can do anything you want as long as you’re willing to work for it.” The wisdom of my late father continues to astound me to this day.
In a book titled “Outliers,” Malcolm Gladwell proposes the 10,000-hour rule. He says if we pursue something and invest 10,000 hours we will become an expert. He cites the British singing group, the Beatles. They didn’t become overnight sensations without work. The group played concert after concert around European countries, sometimes playing sets that were eight hours long! They had to play all genres of music from pop, classical, soul, colloquial, and others and be good at all of them! They put in the time to become great – it just didn’t happen like winning the lottery.
How many hours do we put into our spiritual endeavors? Maybe I should narrow it down and ask in increments of minutes! Some put in hour after hour of exercise trying to improve their physical health. But do we have such a goal when it comes to becoming spiritual experts with the aforementioned 10,000-hour rule? Take for example the twelve disciples Jesus initially called. If they spent on average 14 hours a day with Jesus, over the three-year period during His ministry, they would have over 15,000 hours of experience and knowledge of Him. Yet it took the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to completely reveal the meaning of the scriptures and all Jesus had taught them.
I’ve heard this phrase a great deal from Christians: “I wish I had spent more time on spiritual matters in my younger days.” I can tell you with a great deal of assurance, regrets can pull you down and stifle your motivation. Put away regrets when it comes to spending time with God. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal scripture to you. When we invest time and effort with God, He will take away those spiritual regrets we have and will say, “No regrets, child.” When we are where God wants us to be, it will be the place where we can learn and love in the way only God can!