Sunday, September 19, 2010

Regrets & Sunday Thoughts

It is important to show love and offer forgiveness daily to our family and friends, so that if and when we lose them, and do not have time to build relationships, we can feel peace and calm when they are gone. This thought comes from Becky Thomas's column, The Unexpected Life in Mormon Times today.

Seeing my dad almost daily struggling in the hospital, regretting past mistakes and not knowing from moment to moment how much time he actually has. Of course none of us really know that, but sometimes it takes a hospital or near-death experience to bring the point home.

My dad has always been very busy and active, living life to the fullest, but perhaps not always having his priorities straight. Now as he lies in the bed, I'm quite confident that he regrets not spending more time with family. He told me early in this experience, "I've made some bad choices...but I'm getting better." I think we, his children, regret not spending more time with him - while spending a lot of time with our own immediate families - our kids. With full-time employment I find myself wishing I had more time with my grandchildren and helping my own kids who are struggling as parents and spouses. I suppose regret will always be there in one way or another. I guess the trick is to try to minimize it as much as possible by making wise choices daily and treating those we care about with love and kindness.

I hate family estrangement. I don't understand it; it only hurts everyone involved. Christ taught us to forgive and to love. That's really what it's about. Time is precious and we can't afford to waste any of it in senseless resentments and offenses. I believe being offended is one of Satan's most powerful tools, under the category of pride (I think his three main techniques are Pride, Money or "modern day idol worship" and Lust). Anyway, to easily take offense (or intentionally offend) and then hold a grudge against a loved one is definitely helping Satan corrupt the family.

Along these lines, I also don't understand deliberately keeping a child from a parent. It's bad enough when such estrangement happens with adults, old enough to make such decisions for themselves. But, how sad to deliberately keep the children you love from the other parent they love. I don't think that's love at all. Making the other parent appear to be the one responsible is also wrong. And when the manipulation is done through money - lack of it and lack of understanding of reality (in order to achieve one's selfish desires) that falls in the money/idol worship part.

Manipulation, revenge and punishment are not God's ways. Using people to achieve selfish goals is Satan's way.

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