Reportedly, the head coach of the Seattle Seahawks is not sleeping so well lately. Pete Carroll and his offensive coaches made the now infamous decision to pass the ball from New England’s 1-yard line in the final seconds of the Super Bowl, resulting in the Seahawks quarterback throwing a game-ending interception. In the last week Carroll has been asked incessantly about the play call. Carroll described himself as an optimist, but admitted to some sleepless nights in the aftermath of the big game. “I wake up and can’t stop thinking about it,’’ he said.
Regrets. We all have them. Some regrets have to do with a devastating outcome from a split-second decision. Perhaps it resulted in a physical accident. It might not have been our decision. The cause might have been unintended human error.
At other times we might have had a hand in causing our own regrets. There is a meme I saw recently which made me laugh. In a less polite way it basically said, “Everything happens for a reason, but sometimes the reason is you aren’t so wise and you make bad decisions.” Sometimes we have regrets due to poor choices we made. Some might have had nothing to do with morality but perhaps we did not spend enough time analyzing the options or did not calculate things well. If the choice had to do with a moral issue, maybe we knowingly went into a situation and decided to disobey God. Perhaps our pride or greed had a hand in us acting a certain way. We should be grieved by our own sinful choices and should turn away from them. The good news is that God is always willing to forgive. 1 John 1:9 assures us “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” Despite our repentance, sin still has consequences. The Bible is full of examples of seriously flawed individuals whom God used, even as they dealt with the repercussions of their sins.
Like Coach Carroll we might find ourselves continuously replaying a bad incident or decision in our minds. We might beat ourselves up over it. This is a human reaction. Instead, we must turn our focus to God. We must ask God to help us move forward. Guilt, blame and regret can paralyze us from effectively serving him. Although we have regrets we should remember that “in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)