The title of this article is penciled on a piece of paper and taped at eye-level at work. When I first read that piece of paper I casually agreed with it, but really never considered it in depth. As the months have passed, and reading those words over and over again, day after day, a certain realization has come with it. There is much truth in those words and are worthy of scrutiny by everyone; young and old alike.
The word "long" refers to the passage of time and the word "sins" not only refers to sins committed in the Biblical sense, but also includes decisions or actions in the past. At the time, those choices may have seemed to be good, but later on, we see that perhaps other choices were better. First Corinthians 13:12a speaks of, "For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face…." Sometimes a person is too close to an issue to look at it impartially. In such times, seeking the advice of someone older or more experienced may help give new insight into the situation. Or, if someone advises you, unsolicited by you, you might find a gemstone of great value in someone else's views and experiences.
Obviously, the shadows of a young person in the morning of his life will not cast a very long shadow. However, as his life or days lengthen, so do the shadows from his youth. For example, a young person may decide not to go to college. At the time, that decision may have seemed to be the best or the only course of action or perhaps a bit or procrastination set-in. However years later, as little as ten years possibly, that person may begin to regret that decision. The door of opportunity at a later time may have closed already or is closing rapidly.
It is here that I would like to express a personal sentiment. I watched a movie recently, "The Rear Window" with Christopher Reeve. This movie was made AFTER his tragic and debilitating accident which left him paralyzed from the neck down. I always thought he made a super Superman, but in real-life, he is a superman! He has fought against the odds and although his successes may not be measured in great strides, he continues on relentlessly. Some may say he is only a shell of the former man that he was and that may be true in some respects. Yet, in other respects, he has done the impossible. I read the other day that he is now free from his ventilator. A device had been surgically implanted to help assist his diaphragm in its functions. I cheer him on for his efforts and the example he is setting for us all.
Accomplishments meted by inconvenience years before are now only accessible by extreme hardship, sacrifice, and a lot of tenacity. Unfortunately for some, the door is closed forever, and in great sorrow, they wish they had made better decisions in the past. The shadow of poor judgment made in their youth ends up casting a long shadow of regret.
Choosing whether to further ones education or not, is only one example where this line of thought can apply. We make choices daily; some not as far reaching as others, but decisions all the same.
An old saying goes something like this, "Hindsight is 20-20," meaning that things that are past or behind us sometimes appear more clearly than they did in the present. One can look back and see where certain decisions made; if it were to do over again, we would have taken a different path. For example, when we moved to Louisiana, we sold the home we had here in Cleveland. At the time, it seemed that selling the house was the best thing to do. When we decided to move back a few years later, we realized, too late, that we would have been much better off if we had kept the house and rented it out while we were away. We were shocked at how much the house had appreciated in that short period of time.
The present is something fragile. You cannot keep it from passing, you cannot prevent it from coming and you cannot make it stand still. Decisions can only be made in the present. Once a decision is made, it becomes the past. At the same time, the future is a question or a book with blank pages with you as the author.
So what will your book be? Will it be drama, science fiction, mystery, romance, adventure or educational? Keep in mind, however, everyone you come in contact with will read your book as you will read theirs. Will you pass on your wealth of knowledge and help those coming along have a better or easier way? Or, will you create a stumbling block to hinder someone? What kind of shadows