Saturday, January 15, 2011

About Face!

If what ‘they’ say is true and what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, I think, what with all the ammunition coming at us, we should be able to over power superman. It’s tough enough to go through difficult tymes, but it’s even harder when we know that it’s our own, obtuse mistakes that created our pangs of despair. We long for the opportunity to go back and make different choices, proving true the old adage that hindsight is 20/20.

Pam Tillis recorded a song back in 2001, written by Craig Wiseman and Lisa Drew, called “Which Five Years”. The second verse of the song starts with the line; “Now there were some things, if I had a tyme machine, I’d have done them differently...” I think everyone, to a point, could say that line is true. We all have things we wish we could change, things we want to go back in tyme and do over, especially if we could take the knowledge with us that we currently posses.

Ah, but there’s the rub, at least for me, the longing to go back. I often get so lost in the “what could have beens” that I forget about the “here and now”, or, to rephrase it, I get tangled up in the things I cannot change and overlook those which I have the ‘power’ to alter.

I remember when I used to commute 50 plus miles, one way, to Philadelphia; it certainly left something to be desired. If you have never driven into the city of Brotherly Love, I should tell you that driving the main drag, the Schuylkill Expressway, can be a very nerve-racking experience, especially for a non city girl like myself. What do I mean by nerve-racking? Well, suffice it to say write that there were a lot of accidents on what we tended to call the “Sure-Kill Expressway”.

Each morning, as I got closer to the city, I would listen to the traffic reports to find out, not if, but where, the accident was on that particular day. There was one expression that always caught my ear and struck me funny. The announcer would say something like, “There’s a two mile back up north bound on the Schuylkill due to an accident at the Conshohocken exit and traffic is slowing southbound due to a gaper delay”

A gaper delay. As I think about it now, I am taken by how true that statement is to life. A gaper delay is caused by people slowing down to try and get a look at the accident in the other lane. As they near the site, they stretch their necks forward and as they come upon it they look off to the side and then eventually backwards, trying to catch a glimpse of the opposing lane’s misfortune. This gaping causes traffic to slow and sometymes even leads to another accident in the gaper’s lane.

Isn’t that just like life? We focus so much on what isn’t in front of us. We turn backwards, to the past, wishing we could change something or getting caught up in what did or didn’t happen and we lose sight of the life we have to live, and by doing so, we miss out on so many blessings.

Nothing can change the past; what’s done is done. We do, however, have the ability to affect the present and to clean up the aftermath of the past’s mistakes. All we have to do is call on The Insurance Agent and ask for His help overcome ‘the then’ and help us in ‘the now’.

Now, I’m not saying that we should forget about the past entirely, if fact, I’m convinced that mistakes of the past are like tools in the woodshop of life. We use them to build something, but when it’s all said and done, we leave the tools in the shop and walk out with the finished project.

Earlier when I referenced a line from the song, “Which Five Years”, I only gave you part of the verse:

“Now there were some things, if I had a tyme machine, I’d have done them differently...”

Now, here is the rest of it:

“but now I see that I just can’t see
what to blame and what to credit,
there’s just no way you can edit the shadow from the shine,
you see it’s all so perfectly intertwined.
And I’ve come to the point where I’ve faced the fact,
that it all adds up and I won’t subtract
not a single minute, not a single hour
if I had the power.”

The past can be a good reference when we need to make decisions about what to do or not to do, but we can’t let it draw our focus away from the present. If we do, we’re sure to develop a terrible case of the “shoulda-coulda-wouldas” and the life in front of us will not work out to our satisfaction. When it comes right down to it, the past made us who we are today but today is all we have, and that’s what we need to concentrate on.

Hindsight might be 20/20, but seeing clearly into the past will make you blind to the future. So, if you’re looking back, turn around and ask The Insurance Agent to write you a new policy for the future, because one decision will save you 100% on your life insurance and you’ll be in Great hands because like a good neighbor, Jesus is there!