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No regrets

The story is told about a sad-looking man who ordered flowers. “For what occasion?” the florist asked. “For our wedding anniversary,” the man responded. “But why the sad look on your face?” the florist asked. “It was yesterday,” the man replied, with regret in his eyes.

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In today’s Gospel (Mt. 16:21-27), Jesus warns us of the biggest sadness and regret at the end of our lives: “What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?” When we leave this world, may we not regret that we loved the Lord and His people too little, too late, because we were so in love with ourselves.

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The pandemic has taught us that life is short and fragile. Hopefully, it has also taught us what is really important in our lives. Below is a list of horizon shifts or refocusing we must do so that we will not be left with a bagful of regrets at our journey’s end.

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FOCUS MORE ON THE LOVE IN YOUR HEART RATHER THAN ON THE WORK OF YOUR HANDS. Don’t end up having so many achievements, titles, possessions, but empty, alone, and lonely deep inside.

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FOCUS MORE ON PERSONS THAN ON FUNCTIONS OR POSSESSIONS. Let not your titles, positions, and duty prevent you from being a kind person. The former are all temporary and external. Your character is lasting and eternal.

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FOCUS MORE ON WHAT GOD SAYS, AND NOT ON WHAT OTHER PEOPLE SAY ABOUT YOU. The applause of this world is deceiving, fleeting, and shallow. Earn God’s approval, and you will experience a meaningful life—notwithstanding worldly persecutions and rejections.

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FOCUS MORE ON DEPTH RATHER THAN HEIGHT. If you aim too high, you may end up living a shallow life filled with pleasures and ego trips. Be rooted, and live a life that matters.

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FOCUS MORE ON THE CANDLEGLOW RATHER THAN ON THE GRINDSPARKS AND THE FLASHBULBS. May you cherish quiet, and hidden and refreshing moments. Life is not all about work, nor is it just a show.

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FOCUS ON YOUR BLESSINGS, NOT ON WHAT IS MISSING. Don’t waste time singing a negative tune, complaining and grumbling. Choose to be happy. Keep believing that you are blessed, no matter what.

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FOCUS ON WHAT YOU OWE THE WORLD, AND NOT ON WHAT THE WORLD OWES YOU. Don’t let your expectations or entitlement issues rob you of the joy and freedom of living a peaceful and joyful life. Do your mission. Be true to your calling.

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FOCUS ON THE “PLAY” BUTTON, NOT ON THE “REWIND” AND THE “FORWARD” BUTTONS. Live in the present reality. Stop regretting the past, and worrying about the future. Live in God’s abundant grace now.

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FOCUS ON BELIEF RATHER THAN DOUBT. Believe that the people you love, love you. Believe in your goodness, and other people’s goodness. Dust we are, but beloved dusts. Learn to forgive, including yourself.

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FOCUS ON YOUR CREATOR, NOT ON CREATURES, INCLUDING YOURSELF. Live for something or someone greater than yourself, and your loved ones. We are all on a journey to God’s heart, and His heart is big, and can accommodate all of us.

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The bottom line is that we keep going, and keep on recalculating and refocusing so that we don’t lose our way, and make it to our final destination, with little or no regrets.

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A moment with the Lord: Lord, help us to live a life that will not be full of remorse and regrets. Amen.

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TAGS: Gospel, Jerry M. Orbos, Moments
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