Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Living with Failure not Regret

One of my favourite film quotes comes from a very obscure but quite brilliant film called The Dish - if you've never seen it it's well worth getting hold of a copy.

In the film there is a young scientist who has fallen in love with the girl who delivers the sandwiches every day, but he is too shy to ask her out. An older scientist encourages him to take the risk of speaking to her, using the brilliant logic "it's easier to live with failure than regret".

That phrase has become a bit of a mantra for my life. When I get to the end of my days, I'd rather look back at things in my life that I'd given a go but failed at, rather than things I never had the courage to even try. That quote may not be in the Bible, but I think it's a deeply Biblical principle. God wants us to live our lives to the full, not constrained by the fear of failure or of what others will say or think, but in the light of who he says we are, in the light of what really matters in life and in the light of eternity.

A friend recently wrote to me about a book they read by a lady called Bronnie Ware, The Top Five Regrets of the Dying. Bronnie is a palliative nurse who talked to people close to the end of their lives about their biggest regrets. The top five regrets she heard were:

  • I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
  • I wish I hadn't worked so hard.
  • I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.
  • I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
  • I wish that I'd let myself be happier.

Do any of those regrets strike a nerve with you? If so why not take a moment to talk to God about it, to think about how you might live life differently, and then do something about it straight away.


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