No Regrets … No What-Ifs

Al lives next door to us.

Al is 87 years old.

He keeps watch over our neighborhood while sitting in his garage.

When we moved in 7 years ago, Al told us that if we didn’t try to make him go to church or talk to him about God, we’d get along great.

Over the years, Jud has gotten to have a couple of Spiritual conversations with Al. He’s gotten to share his books, but mostly we just chat with Al while he’s out watering his plants.

Last week when I went out to grab the mail, Al was putting up Christmas lights … yes, 87 years old and putting up Christmas lights.

Al and I got to talking about me being a teacher a lifetime ago. Al told me he had thought about teaching, but ended up staying in a job that he didn’t really like.

Then Al said something both incredibly sad and inspiring at the same time:

I know your husband’s job is difficult. I can see how busy he is. I know how hard it must be to help so many hurting people … but at least you know his work is important. At least you know it is valuable. At least it has purpose. All I have are regrets and wonder if things could have been different.

And here’s the truth, God could use anyone … ANYone … to accomplish His mission. But He gives me … and He gives you … the honor and privilege of getting to be part of His work.

Is it busy? Yes.

Is it hard? Yes.

Is it sometimes hurtful? Yes.

But it is also:




We get joy in following God’s calling on our lives. No What-Ifs. No regrets.


17 thoughts on “No Regrets … No What-Ifs

  1. Kris

    It is awesome to know that we do have purpose in Christ. It can be exhausting and frustrating and painful – but we have great reward in Jesus!

    It sounds as if Al has already been impacted to some degree by your family. Praying that God will continue to use you in this mans life – while God is still lending someone breath it is truly never too late!

  2. Becky

    Wow, this is really hard for me to process. I know in following God’s specific call on our lives it’s good, important, valuable, and purposeful, but JOY… That just caught me off guard; like I’m missing it somehow, definitely forgotten it, especially pertaining to being a PW and in this new season of ministry. Yes, I have gratitude, goodness, faith, etc. But… God gives me joy in this? I have a lot to think/pray through today…

  3. Tiffany Cooper

    I imagine hearing those words from Al was like super fuel charging you up to take on the world. OK, that’s how I felt reading his words. Powerful. I love “Al’s”.
    Thanks for sharing from your life.

  4. Stephanie

    Such a great reminder. Some days I wish I weren’t in ministry, but then I really think about it and can’t think of anything else I’d rather be doing. Thanks for reminding me to keep eternity in view!

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