Great ships are directed by a very small rudder.
A Word of Hope
Recently, I was at the gym on the treadmill. I was watching one of those trail videos; walking a path in a location I hadn’t seen before. The video took me through a forest that had a human constructed wooden plank walkway to keep everyone from desecrating, I mean forging, their own new trail. It reminded me of a short story written by a favorite sci-fi author, Ray Bradbury, called “A Sound of Thunder” which is a time travel story; one of my favorite subjects. In the story, a few time traveling adventurers boarded a vehicle where they could go to anytime they chose, but were warned if they veered off the given path, they could invariably alter the future to which they would be returning.
It’s a wonderful and daunting “what if” scenario leading the reader to contemplate her or his own life journey and what might happen if we could “turn back time.” Of course you can guess what happens. One time traveler stumbled off the path and unknowingly stepped on a prehistoric butterfly. When they returned, the future had been changed for the worse. Words were spelled differently, the President of the United States was different, and products in stores were different. It’s a very exciting adventure, which was made into a movie a few years ago, but I highly recommend reading it.
Now who wouldn’t want to go back and change their life path, if they could? It’s obvious that there is a tremendous potential amount of power changes and corruption should such a thing be possible, but for all our sakes, let’s look at it in a perfect world view; what is it about today or your life circumstances that you would want to change? A big thing? … or little?
I think you know where this is going. What would be your choices TODAY that could change your life or someone else’s for the better? Take a moment and pause to consider your path. You are on the cusp at this very moment to forever change destiny. In some cases, you can even retrace your steps and correct a mistake, apologize, forgive, restart, or simply rethink your destiny.
There isn’t an eraser for our previous pain and suffering, but this moment has a special buffer that contains compassion and empathy to carry you forward in a way that you might not have realized. It doesn’t give you the ability to see into the future, but it does invite you to slow your thinking and your pace, even just a little, to correct your course and change your life and the world around you.
Certainly, we have no guarantee we will know what that ultimately means; to cut someone some slack, to allow someone into your lane, to smile at the clerk who looks ready to give up, to donate your time and resources to a worthy cause, or even take up healthier living…But if you become present enough in those life-changing moments, I would bet you’d see yourself as a time traveler who made a conscious effort to make the world a better place. I invite you to think about it. Deep breath. Now take another DEEP breath.
What would you change? Who can you help? What do you visualize the world will become?
Help us to remember that each of us has the opportunity to be the small rudder that steers the Ship of Time in a direction charted by Jesus. Amen
Order of St Francis and St. Clare