The Regret Family
In the movie “The Comancheros,” there is a character named Monsieur Paul Regret, played by Stuart Whitman. This piece of text is not about him or his relatives. However, there is another branch of this family that you may be familiar with: Coulda, Woulda, and Shoulda. I know I am.
Recently, I went to Pisgah National Forest and a section of the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina. It was just going to be a day trip, nothing extensive. Hence, I didn’t take my full complement of gear. Instead, I brought along my camera body, primary lens, and tripod. I was looking forward to a photographic outing without lugging around 22 pounds of equipment. Three-quarters of an hour after I started shooting along Looking Glass Creek in Pisgah, my camera’s shutter refused to click. It didn’t take long to determine the cause: my ten-year-old battery had died. I “coulda/shoulda” taken my newer spare battery along, but I didn’t. I “woulda” taken a backup if I’d known “old faithful” was going to decide on that trip to stop holding a charge. The only way I could think of to illustrate the photo opportunities I missed that day is with this image:
Acts 26 relates a conversation that the Apostle Paul had with a regional ruler of the day, King Agrippa. Paul talks for quite a while, giving his testimony. Then Agrippa asks Paul, “Are you trying to get me to become a Christian?” Paul replies, “I wish with all my heart that would happen.” (My paraphrase of verses 28 and 29.) King Agrippa declined to become a believer that day. I don’t know what subsequently happened in that man’s life, but I wonder if he later realized he’d met the Regret cousins on that occasion.
Back up in history a number of years to an event from Jesus’ life on earth that is recorded in Luke 19. Jesus was walking down a road one day amid crowds of people. Suddenly, He stopped and looked up into the branches of a tree. There He spotted a vertically-challenged, wealthy individual whose profession had disenfranchised him from all Jews. Almost. In the only recorded instance of Jesus inviting himself, Zacchaeus hosted God’s Son for a meal. And the Regret family went hungry that day.
I hope I learn from my missed opportunities and keep future encounters with the Regret clan few and far between.