As we grow older, our life starts coming more clearly into focus, and we start realizing, perhaps for the first time, how our life and decisions have impacted others, both for good and for ill. If we had gone through life making perfect decisions and always doing the right thing… Only one person ever perfectly-fullfilled that ideal – Jesus Christ. The rest of us are fallen sinners, and yes, we do make mistakes, and we do have regrets.

I just celebrated birthday number fifty-nine, which means that three-quarters of my life is behind me. Celebrating another birthday gave me the reason and opportunity to pause and look back on my life. The picture hasn’t always been pretty, but I am not here to paint pretty pictures. This is life in the ditches.

The famous American Revolutionary War hero, Nathan Hale, is reported to have said “I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country.” as he was about to be hanged by the British. Many of us who have spent a lifetime in public service echo those words as our own. A few years ago, a dear friend (BROTHER) and I were discussing our lives as public-servants, and we concluded that our only regret was that we weren’t able to do more. Our bodies have betrayed us, and we are no longer able to do what we love, help others in the capacities we used to. If you haven’t been in the “family“, you won’t understand what drives us. Our “drummer” skips a beat, as does our heart, every time the pager goes off.

I have another, far more important regret that will go with me to the grave, that I wasn’t a better husband to my wife and father to my children. Every time I hear “Cats In The Cradle” I get a lump in my throat, because that is my story also. No, I didn’t seek fame and fortune, but I did “do what it takes” in my job, and my family suffered as result.

Cats In The Cradle
My child arrived just the other day
He came to the world in the usual way
But there were planes to catch, and bills to pay
He learned to walk while I was away
And he was talking before I knew it and as he grew
He said, “I’m gonna be like you, Dad,
You know I’m gonna be like you”

And the cats in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man on the moon
When you comin home, dad, I don’t know when,
But we’ll get together then, Son,
You know we’ll have a good time then.

My son turned ten just the other day
He said “Thanks for the ball, Dad, come on lets play
can you teach me to throw?” I said, “Not today,
I got a lot to do” He said “Thats okay”
And then he walked away but his smile never dimmed
And said “I’m gonna be like him, yeah
You know I’m going to be like him”

And the cats in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man on the moon
When you comin home, dad, I dont know when,
But we’ll get together then, Son,
You know we’ll have a good time then.

Well he came from college just the other day
So much like a man I just had to say,
“Son, I’m proud of you, can you sit for a while?”
He shook his head, and he said with a smile

“What I’d really like, Dad, is to borrow the car keys
See you later, can I have them please?”

And the cats in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man on the moon
When you comin home, Son, I dont know when,
But we’ll get together then, Dad,
You know we’ll have a good time then.

I’ve long since retired, my son’s moved away
I called him up just the other day……..
I said “I’d like to see you if you don’t mind”
He said “I’d love to Dad, if I could find the time.
You see my new jobs a hassle, and the kids have the flu.
But It’s sure nice talking to you, Dad,
It’s been sure nice talking to you……..”
And as I hung up the phone it occurred to me
He’d grown up just like me,
My boy was just like me…………..

And the cats in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man on the moon
When you comin home, Son, I dont know when,
But we’ll get together then, Dad
We’re gonna have a good time then.

Yes, I have them. I can’t make it up to my dear wife, because she committed suicide in 1997. I can’t make it up to my children, because they don’t have anything to do with me. They are probably also “too busy” with their own lives and families to make time for their dad. Hopefully they are better parents than I was. I just pray that they aren’t “too busy” for their own children. That is one regret that I DON’T want them to have.

I am still self-centered, self-willed and selfish. I am not the man of God that I should be or could be. I am still a work-in-progress, and it shows. This is about struggles, not triumphs, and I still struggle.

God bless!



6 thoughts on “Regrets…

  1. Pingback: Regrets… | simplenaturist

  2. We are praying for you–Steve
    That God will touch you and heal you from all your infirmities.
    Your life is important to Him / God if not portrayed by any other.


  3. Hey Steve,
    Those are the struggles of all Christians… The difference between Christians and atheist is that we examine ourselves and recognize our sinful nature. When we are sorry for, and have a real hatred of “our sin,” than we are experiencing a regenerative heart. That is a wonderful thing to experience!
    I interpret the scriptures to mean that we are either called, or we are not. I have heard many call out Christians as trying to “convert non-Christians!” Each time I hear that I laugh. I can no more convert someone than I can turn them into a white fluffy rabbit! Either you are called, or you are not; period.
    Some religions think that you have a choice in the matter, WRONG! Naoh and Job both would have liked a choice but nope, when you are called you might as well accept it, and serve… That is the good news that we hear many talk about!
    You post brightened my day…

    God Bless!


    • Thank you Timedok! I’m glad you enjoyed this post. Yes, we ARE “called”, called “saints”, and “called to be saints”. The first reflects our present status before God, and the latter represents a growing and future personal reality. We are also “called” in a broader sense, but also in the moment. When I started this blog, I felt compelled to write about life as a Christian in the “ditches” of life. I am not proud that I have spent way more time in the “ditches” than on the “straight and narrow way”, but it has given me a unique perspective on life in the “ditches”. We are also called to “in the moment” actions, whether it is answering the phone at an inconvenient time, knowing that there are problems on the other end of the line, or putting the boots on the ground or rubber on the road to take care of a pressing need.

      I am not a “theologian”, so I leave the “heavy-theology” to those who are better equipped for that kind of study. I am also addressing what I feel are “pressing issues”, whether in life or in the church, because no matter what it is, truth, the truth of the Bible, needs to be applied, even if the truth is unpopular.

      To the fellow-believer who is struggling, I say: “You are not alone”. To the unbeliever who is sure that Christians aren’t all they are cracked-up to be, I say: “Welcome to the world of a “real” Christian, warts, flaws and all. I am just a sinner saved by grace.”

      Thank you for stopping by! I have enjoyed the visit.



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