I am traveling.
And the other day I was dragging my suitcase across a concrete expanse and missed a step. Is there a more sickening sensation? We rush forward confident in the ground beneath one’s feet only to plunge into empty space. I wrenched my knee when I crashed downward and there has been an insistent ping of pain ever since. It reminds me of a guilty conscience sending out little signals of distress every time we remember past misbehaviors. You know what I’m talking about: the past! Those times we were cruel, indifferent or self-involved. Those missed opportunities to be generous, gracious, self-effacing and surrendered instead to something less exalted. That awful ringing memory in your mind when you’re tired or lonely or drunk.
Are those nightmares ever banished or do we carry them with us to the grave? Do we rewind and find the wronged party, or do we zip forward? And, more to the point, is it ever possible to advance without going backward? Is it realistic to assume that one can live life with every step placed perfectly in front of the other? Are not the most profound life lessons learned by falling and stumbling? Maybe the ache we feel on those sleepless nights is a messenger of humility reminding us how easy it is to cause suffering. Perhaps the throb can be an invitation to be mindful of the future sinkholes of greed and selfishness waiting . . . just waiting for that moment of arrogance when we step right into the trap.. . . there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need of repentance ~ John