Soren Kirkegaard raises this question, and I find it intriguing. I like questions that make you say – hmmm:) Let’s see what this evokes, alright? It’s coolio when a simple question leads to other questions.
So, here’s my take –
I think we fluctuate between backwards and forwards at times. When life is difficult, we tend to live in the past and dwell on it quite a bit. That’s not always the best thing to do. The down side is, you get so consumed in what was going on back then , you fail to live in the now. It’s really important to have a view for the future. A clear vision of what you want helps guide you towards your goal with much greater accuracy. Otherwise, it’s like shooting a quiver full of arrows at random. I’m saying that based on past experience.
Who we are now is a reflection of our past experiences and who we were before. You can’t go through life without being impacted by the people, places and events of your past. Those events shape and mold you into who you are. Sometimes I think it’s necessary to sit down and reflect on past events as you plumb for deeper meaning and purpose in life. That’s the plus side. By looking back, I think we have an opportunity to make adjustments. And the thing is, sometimes we get stuck in the rut of feeling that we can’t make any changes. Life is full of change, and if we want to change course, we can do so at will. I think of it as zigzagging through life. It’s okay to zigzag. In fact zigzagging can be fun!
Everybody wants to be in control of their destiny and thinks they don’t have the power to make change. That’s not true. We can travel through life in whatever direction we want. Like everything, there’s a consequence to every action we take. We have to kinda weigh the costs of the choices we make. So many times, we pray for inner guidance on what to do, and we feel like we’re never getting answers. We always get an answer, and forget no can be an answer. We get ticked off and have a hissy fit when no might be the best thing that ever happened to us. There’s a closing technique used in sales strategies. It’s “No means yes.” They call it a buying sign. The first time I heard the phrase years ago, I kinda scratched my head, wondering huh? No means yes? AHaaa!! It was a major breakthrough moment that has helped me improve my sales skills. A more important and secondary benefit has been that it has also applied as a life skill and given me great direction.
The truth is, we’re so caught up in the rat race of life, going through the motions, we can’t hear the still small voice wanting nothing more than to give us direction. Sometimes I find myself in a quandary about what to do and ask God “What should I do now? Should I zig or zag? Can you send me a clear sign of what path to take? I generally look at it like this. When God says yes, there’s no question about it. Doors are flung open for you left and right. Things happen at warp speed and sometimes go faster than you were anticipating. I call it “God Speed”. There’s people speed and God Speed. The two are totally different. When God says yes, He pulls out the stops and showers blessings all over the place. When God says no, barriers pop up, and things don’t go as you wanted. Eventually, your gut tells you this is not the right thing to be doing at this particular time in your life. You can only hear the answers if you’re still and tuning in to that “higher frequency”.
There’s also the factor of time. Time is an invention of man, and we assign values to it in increments. If you look at time as a linear thing and as infinite, then the human lifetime is but a pinprick on the continuum. I am by no means trying to minimize the value of human life. Just trying to put it in context of eternity. Time is relative. If you look at time as a vibration of energy and particles. And if you look at all creation in the same way, you can come to no other conclusion than there is no such thing as past and present.
In the end, isn’t life just a series of nows?