1924 Paris Olympics. Eric Liddell is selected to run the 100m for England.
Upon arriving in Paris, Eric is informed that his race is to be run on a Sunday. Joy turns to crisis.
Sunday is God’s day and therefore a day of rest. This is a value he can not compromise. He can not run. With no possibility of changing the date of the race, Eric finds himself in the stands sitting next to his brother watching the final.
Just as the runners line up, his brother turns to him and says, “Any regrets Eric?” Eric’s response is stunning. He replies, “Regrets yes, doubts no.”
As we chose to live courageously, the most meaningful things in life will always be on the other side of fear and challenge our values to the very limit. Fear influences us to a lesser risk, to living small especially with God.
This is where the power of regret can be a positive thing in our stories.
Regret is a powerful emotional reminder that change and growth are required.
Research has found that regret is a function of empathy and calls us to courage and learning. It’s a fair but tough teacher. Regret’s pathway leads us to wisdom if we will walk it.
Emotions are opportunities for intimacy. They are a gateway to building emotional connection and trust. They are not a waste of time or dangerous but a God built part of how we connect with Him and each other.
Because of its power, regret has the same impact on our souls as bitterness. The bottom line is that loving God’s presence is an invitation to growth. If we choose not to grow and learn, but opt out, abort a moment of opportunity or disconnect from the truth, we miss out on so much.
For sure regret is a hugely difficult emotion to digest, but what is worse, fear and doubt having the final say?
Eric’s Olympic Games had regret, but no doubts. His commitment to courage, resulted in taking away the gold medal in the 400metres.
Don’t be afraid of regret. Be afraid of doubt. Live Courage. Live faith. That’s being real.