16. Retrospect

One feature that makes us humans so complex is our sense of memory or retrospect. Looking back, we ascribe meaning to life’s former times and then shuttle that meaning back to the present. Our view of the past becomes, in effect, one of the leading determinants of our interpretation of the present and the future.

 

It’s easy for me to close my eyes and remember. And I’m constantly doing that -trying hard to develop a sense of patience about life and her deliberate unfolding of events. One thing is clear to me: life does not want to be pushed; life wants you to embrace its presence, to work with it and within it.

 

Certainly I think it is important to maintain a sense of control over tomorrow’s events – to feel comfortable that your efforts aren’t in vain and that your actions do affect your future. But life also presents itself anew — every day, every moment – with her own unique events and surprises. And while in no obvious rush to satisfy your desire, she does enjoy and embrace your response.

 

Have you ever had an idea and said to yourself: “why didn’t I think of that before?” Well, it wasn’t time for you to think of it. You simply cannot rush the natural life-processes of maturity and growth. You can shake it, scream at it, and throw it on the ground. But one thing remains: you will never change the nature of life itself. Like a flower she blooms in her own time. Now, this is not to say that life doesn’t respond to the inquiring and thoughtful mind. Quite the contrary: she does — and in a grand way. I think that life really loves the thinker.

 

Difficulty

 

What about the hard spots in life? Tragedy? Poor decisions? Obvious mistakes? Are they the children of destiny? Can’t we prevent them?

 

Totally? I think not. In every time of known history, evil and tragedy have been a part. Even minds that are seemingly fully committed to good must deal with such. But certainly we should continue our reach and our search for the meaning that will help us live today. And that search is in essence the search for the hand of God.

 

Looking back to earlier times and knowing the sense of peace at having “made it through” – well, this is the realization that somehow the God of life has carried you. I, for one, wouldn’t want to live my life again. Too many things that I treasure now are the result of what I’d consider happenstance or seemingly unimportant and trivial decisions. But isn’t it wonderful how God uses the smallest of things to generate some of the most incredible events?

 

Day 16 Guide:

 

Today, look for the meaning in ordinary events. That’s life!

 

© 2005, Levi Hill

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