John Greenleaf Whittier was a famous Quaker poet. He was a fierce opponent of slavery during the 19th century. One of his memorable statements is this: “For all the sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these: It might have been!” We often wish we had done something that we failed to do. One writer says he believes our greatest deathbed regret will surprise us. We will not regret missed opportunities that would have made us successful. He says it will our failure to express love to someone. Another regret might well be that we failed to live out God’s purpose for us here on earth. What could be more disappointing than our failure to fulfill God’s purpose for us here on earth? God expressed His regret for ancient Israel because they failed to heed His advice. We read in Isaiah 48 where God says, “I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is good for you and leads you along the paths you should follow. Oh, that you had listened to my commands! Then you would have had peace flowing like a gentle river and righteousness rolling over you like the waves in the sea.” We do ourselves a great favor when we listen to God’s Son, Jesus Christ; and when we aim to follow God’s will as revealed in the Bible. Doing so not only gives us peace and satisfaction during this life, it will give us a sense of fulfillment when we come to the end of our lives.
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