The past has placed an indelible taint upon our lives, or is it, indeed, indelible?
To begin, we must know that we shall not be granted more time to correct the errors of the past. But I have wondered whether we might correct them with the time left to us. Time squandered is gone forever. We have only the remains of the day, and that light is fading quickly. So, indeed, what is one to do if there is to be a balancing of the books in a life considered ill-used? There must, of course, be a square and truthful accounting. There is no time left for the ubiquitous denial. I must admit that the years have oft been wasted. And I must be equally as forthcoming in relating how they were allowed to languish. It is important for any to know that those years were not frittered away in vain pursuits. Money was neither goal nor idol, and possessions held no particular temptation. There was no running to and fro in the fever of business. Life moved along in a satisfying – and some would say boring – cadence. And yet, for all of this uncomplicated tranquility, my life – as seen in retrospect – lacked that very noble character which should have defined it. Did I not notice the compass skewed from its course? And, if I did, why did I not make those crucial recalculations? I have read of those men and women of enviable character, and I have wished to be like them. It may be that I could have been at one time. But now the sand seems to flow more swiftly, and if there was even the slightest chance for redemption it must be achieved with all possible haste. I do not know if such is realistically possible. That realization in itself is fraught with a particular sadness. For now, more than ever, I have longed for a character which I may never attain. And what is yet more confounding is the fact, that, although such character is a treasure most desired, I may be not only too late to possess it, but wholly incapable of practicing it in the abstract – in the very thought of the quality. So then, our conundrum remains. Is it possible to recover wasted years and squandered time that we might finish our race with respect, both to ourselves and to that legacy we leave behind? Can we rise from the ashes of our own funeral pyre?
I am emboldened to conclude that we can. Not only can we resurrect the dead man, we must raise him up, for the alternative is to bestow upon our posterity the burden of our failure. It is true that we cannot protect those we love from every taint that has clung to us like dust. They will, no doubt, suffer in some respect for the sins of the fathers, but they need not be destroyed by those sins. Their memories need not be weighted by a harsh remembrance, nor chained to a dragging ball of regret. For we know well that there have been men sinking under the weight of their many indiscretions, only to rise on the wings of grace. And so, this is our one and only hope, for there is none other. Shall we call upon the name of the one who has been so denied? We shrink to do so. But we must do so, and pray that He will arise to our calling and restore to us some remnant of faded dreams when choices were all that lay before us.