One Regret Michael Davis
March 3, 2018
Regrets. We all have them. Things we wish we would have done. Things we should have said. People we should have loved, or forgiven, or reached out to. Sadly, regrets often shape who we are today rather than serve as reminders of a better way to go, a better way to live.
There are certain people I envision being regret free. Billy Graham would be on that list. I cannot fathom Billy Graham looking back at a life marked by being used by God to help millions of people see God and having any regrets. He was not a perfect man but since his death on February 21st there have been countless words shared about his influence and impact worldwide. Humble. Faithful. Available. Passionate. Loving. Caring. Generous. Gracious. The list of adjectives to describe this man are many and certainly accurate to who he was, but a word not often associated with Billy Graham would be regret.
This shocked me and it may shock you, but Billy Graham had one regret. He may have had more than one, but there is one specific regret that he shared.
“There is one regret. I wish I would have spent more time with Jesus. I spent more time with men and conducting services and doing ministry. I should have been more with God and people would’ve sensed God’s presence when they were with me.” Billy Graham
His one regret was not that he did not share the message of God’s love, grace, and forgiveness with more people. His one regret was not that he did not spend more time with his wife of 65 years. His one regret was not that he did not spend more time with his five children. His one regret does not revolve around more time with people but more time being around God.
At the core of Mr. Graham’s regret is the belief that what people need more than anything is not more of him but more of God. In other words, spending more time with people whether it be family, friends, neighbors, coworkers has the appearance of being the better thing, even the more loving thing. But Mr. Graham’s one regret makes clear that the better thing, the most loving thing we can do for our loved ones is to be with God, to be in His Presence. Why?
Being in His Presence changes my presence.
When I spend time with God, whether in His Word or in prayer, something happens to me. When I learn more about who God is, what God is like, His heart for the world, for me, things begin to change in me. Not because I am doing something but because something is being done in me. Being in the presence of God is powerful. Powerful enough to take a heart once filled with anger, bitterness, pride, lust, distrust and change it, soften it, to reflect more and more what the heart of God is like.
Billy Graham knew this. I am slowly learning this. But like Mr. Graham, I am convinced that what people need more than anything is not more of who we are but more of who God is. I am convinced that what Kyla, Tristan, Reilly, Caeden, my extended family, GENESIS community, and my neighbors need is not more time with Michael Davis. I’m convinced that what they all need is more of God’s presence.
The gift we all have the opportunity to give to those around us is not more time with them, but more time being with God in His Presence. In so doing, you will see in time that your presence is being changed to reflect who He is and what He is like.
Mr. Graham, I know you said you regretted not being with God more, but I along with millions of people thank you for the time you spent with God for we were able to catch a glimpse of the heart God in your heart for all of us!