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What might have been
How to see beyond regret to the fulfillment of one's promise
During his final days, a distant relative looked across the wreckage of a life not well lived, apologized to the family member he had hurt most over the decades, and so brought her a small measure of healing. I never knew if his act of penitence bought him any peace. There was an ocean of regret in his heart. He was said to have been brilliant as a young man, filled with promise. Almost none of it was realized.
Have you ever noticed, though, that at times a similar kind of regret haunts even those whose lives are brimming with achievement? It's curious. Maybe all of us— whether our accomplishments keep pace with our aspirations, or lag hugely behind because of unfortunate circumstances or bad decisions in the past—need to reconsider the real nature of both promise and fulfillment. Maybe we need to get a better fix on just what it is that originates and develops them. Is it a matter of an individual with promising talents—a musician for instance, or a peace negotiator—just happening to have the drive or the right circumstances or whatever so that everything comes together and he or she finds fulfillment? That sounds very iffy.
Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.
About the author
(Channing Walker is a contributing editor.)
To Our Readers
William E. Moody
with contributions from Donna S. Knuth, Virginie Milfort, Wendy de la Harpe
items of interest
with contributions from Gail Russell Chaddock, Randy Peyser, Mark Noll
What might have been
By Channing Walker
Are the two of you a good fit?
By Lorita B. Williams
"The future of medicine-and the medicine of the future"
Virginia S. Harris
You are not Eve's descendant
By Patricia del Castillo
God's line is never busy
By Laurie Toupin
... and this woman's beat goes on
By Marylou Churchill
Study hall: a place to PRAY
By Joan Sieber Ware
Prayer heals severe pain and weakness
Unjust arrest reversed; high fever healed
Mark Dimu Ngeri
Child turns to God and is healed
Jeffrey Ball with contributions from Pamela Ball
A lifetime of healing
Alice Manger Hofstetter
How well do you know your neighbor?
By Jan Kassahn Keeler
Marietta G. Lyon
Progress for women—without anger
Mary Metzner Trammell