20110126

Hindsight

The recent passing of my fiancĂ©e's great-grandfather and my own grandfather, when combined with a variety of other events that have crossed path with my life of late, all have left me in a brooding mood for quite some time. While I am thankful that both members of our families have transitioned into eternity with their Lord, it has been a sharp reminder of the twisted nature of the world. Sickness, pain, death, they're everywhere. I watch people I love hurting for a variety of different reasons and different circumstances. My other home country is ensnared in partially violent political turmoil yet again. Our world is a messed up place.

And it's all because of a single decision in a garden many thousands of years ago.

"Well," one might think, "hindsight is 20-20." Indeed it is. If Adam and Eve could have seen the world the way it is as a result of their choice, I'm sure it would have greatly changed the dynamics of their decision making paradigm. People are murdering other people left and right. Marriages are disintegrating; families are falling apart. Millions starve while countless others bask in opulence. Depravity, it seems, knows no bounds.

Of course this is somewhat comfortable to talk about in broad strokes, but dare we discuss the havoc our own depravity wreaks? We are all fallen, but we also fall on our own. Do we have the courage to look back at our own wake of destruction? Even when we have the gumption to own our wrongdoings, we like to hastily remind anyone who may be listening that hindsight is 20-20. Of course it is; as if that's an excuse!

But that's just it: we like to think it is. We imagine that our mistakes are excusable because we "never" would have made them if we could have seen where they would lead. Some of us even adopt a hindsight mentality, claiming to be the sort that has to "learn the hard way." So often it simply boils down to the fact that we do what we want to do and don't have the slightest intention of thinking about the consequences. Why Should we? Hindsight is 20-20.

That, however, is precisely the opposite of the life we are called to live in Christ. Forsaking hindsight and practicing foresight, we are to forget what is behind and press onwards towards the prize with our eyes fixed on the goal ahead of us. Unrepentant sinners are to look ahead to the judgment and cast themselves on Christ in light of what is to come. There is no place for living life solely focused on what is behind us. You can't drive with your eyes only on the rear view mirror.

I'm not saying that history has no value, or that we cannot learn from our mistakes. All I'm saying is that an "act now, think later" attitude only leads to one place. After all...

In hell, hindsight is 20-20.