Saturday, December 07, 2019

Predestined regret

Another way to approach it that if I have regrets, God predestined me to have regrets, so there's no tension between my regret and God's decretal will. 

By the same token, there's no inconsistency in God willing one thing at one time, then willing something else at a later time, because each serves its purpose at its respective time. Like a screenwriter willing that a character initially be a villain, then, during a later plot development, willing that the character has a life-transforming experience which makes him act heroic. 

What the original objection overlooks is the instrumental value of regret. Consider people whose epitaph is "I regret nothing". That's a cringingly superficial outlook on life. A related motto is "Never look back!" In fairness, some folks have such wretched lives that there may be some wisdom to the advice in their case.

Consider two brothers who take each other for granted. They don't dislike each other, but there's no rapport. They aren't close. And there's no urgency since they have decades ahead of them.

Then one day there's a phone call from the ER saying one of the brothers died in a traffic accident. In an instant it goes from seeing each other every day, or being able to see/talk to each other whenever they want, to never seeing each other for the rest of the surviving brother's life. In a fateful moment it goes from total access to total inaccess. 

The surviving brother is overwhelmed with regret, because it's too late to make up for all the lost opportunities. However, it's not useless. Having learned from bitter experience, he can apply that retrospective insight to other neglected (or future) relationships in his life. 

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