My mind does not process mechanical things. The things that are mechanical that I fix or work on in my garage, I do so by rote. This is because someone has taken the time to show me. I’m not sure I am teachable—but my memory works okay so there are things I have learned to do. People with mechanical minds fascinate me because my mind is not —mechanical.
I have a good friend who has taught me a lot of things—mechanical. I have often heard him lament the following. “I should have become a licensed millwright.” He worked as a general labourer all his life but had the brains and ability to work as a millwright. So if we talk about it…he uses the words, ‘I should have.’
A Puritan Anglican named J.I. Packer writes in his classic book Knowing God, the following. “What were we made for? To know God. What aims should we set ourselves in life? To know God. What is the ‘eternal life’ that Jesus gives? Knowledge of God. What is the best thing in life, bringing more joy, more delight, and contentment, than anything else? Knowledge of God.”
What I am after, simply is this—the worse thing I can think of is the following. I am lying dying, or feeling the last breath slip out of my body—and my mind is thinking—“I should have.”
Now, knowing my friend—the should have been a millwright one—he is not bemoaning that decision. The conversations we have had about it brings no tears, no real heart-moving regret—just simple chit-chat. However there are indeed many things in life that do bring tears, regrets, and heart-aches.
I happen to believe that one of them is what J. I. Packer has described quite well for us! And that, is something to think about.