“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might; for there is no activity or planning or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol where you are going.” (Eccl. 9:10)
I have been trying to fix up my old house this Summer. The work I was able to hire people to help me with looks pretty good. The work I tried to do myself, not so much. The tiles aren’t lined up right. The caulk is messy. The screws are crooked. The nails are bent. One of the door knobs is broken. And the dogs are sliding into the walls every time they run across the new rugs because I didn’t secure them to the floor properly. I have to say that home repair is not what I am skilled at. Still, I did give it my best.
The main regrets I do have in my life are the times when I didn’t give it my best. I regret the times I didn’t stop to help a stranger in need. I regret the times I was angry with my kids rather than understanding and kind. I regret the times I gave in to despair rather than praying to God. I regret the times I hid behind my walls instead of sharing my love. I regret the moments when I could have made a difference in this world but didn’t because I didn’t feel like trying. I regret all the missed opportunities I had to scatter sunshine, to share joy, and to give my love to others.
I know that God forgives me for all of those times when I didn’t do my best and I am doing my best to forgive myself as well. I know that carrying the regrets of the past will only keep me from doing my best in the future. I know that time spent in regret and sadness is time taken away from love and happiness.
When it comes to this life then always give it your best. Give it your best smile. Give it your best self. Give it your best effort. Give it your best love. Give it your best kindness. Give it your best joy. Give it your best heart and your best soul. It doesn’t matter if your life isn’t perfect. It doesn’t matter if parts of it are bent and broken. All that matters is that you give it your best every single day. If you do, then all of Heaven will smile upon you.
Joseph J. Mazzella