Do you ever have secrets known only between God and you? I have. I have to say that there is a very private me in here. I own space on the spiritual iCloud where giga-years of memories are stored and protected by a unique password never spoken except in my dreams. It is encrypted with feelings of fear of rejection and ridicule and put through an algorithm of passionate self-concern. I know people—among my closest friends even—who are open enough to drag and drop their imperishable memoirs on a common share for anyone to read or hear. If they experience it or think it, they most generously and spontaneously in polite conversation tell all even if we find it cute or dumb. I can’t. I am sorry to say it but a lot of what makes up my day’s musings is not nor ever will become public information. But the down side of this is that I would like to share. I would like to be able to tell someone—other than God while I am soaking in a hot bath—what I am thinking !
I talk too much!
If I had some assurance that no one was reading this, I could continue.
You’re reading this; aren’t you? And you are thinking that I must have done something unspeakably horrible or criminal or had an out -of-the-body experience or I’m suicidal or something. But if so, you would be wrong. I do, however, have some very fond memories, life changing moments recalled, peak experiences that will never lose their ‘peakness’ that were so exciting and full of meaning that I for one know no way to put them in writing or speak of them so as to share the passion and love with which I recall them.
I don’t really recall them. I live with them daily on my mind. I dream about them and rehearse them detail by detail when alone. I remind God—as if He forgot and I need to tell Him again—how some things too wonderful for words have impacted my life and enriched my existence. Part of me thinks that heaven will be heaven because what is now locked away in my soul will someday, somewhere, be my testimony. I imagine my opportunity in the land of no tears and pure love to tell all.
You still there?
There is another dimension to this. I find myself comparing my present reality with this past. And there are consequences for doing such a thing. Obviously, the mundane and monotonous cannot hope to win any trophies. To use another metaphor, every fork in the road where I have to make a life changing decision is forever after questionable because I wonder: What if I had gone to the left instead of to the right. I cannot go back. I will never again pass that way that wound through yesterday’s dreamland.
None of this is to say that the life I live now is regrettable or painful or meaningless. Quite untrue. Contrarily, my life is full of meaning for me. And if I had gone to the left instead of the right back when, I cannot say I would have been better off. Such an enquiry is valueless. No one can possibly compare what is with what could have been or might have been.
That childhood sweetheart and that first kiss or that very special friend from years gone by that you could say anything to or that special evening wherever—all forever locked away in the cloud. But you wonder what they are doing or thinking or what treasured thoughts they have protected with ‘access denied’ popping up when people get too close.
What could have been, had you—I—only stayed! We do ourselves no favors living in dreams and ignoring new memories before us ready just for the making. If we let the past rob us of the present we end up having neither. The biggest advantage of yesterday’s memories is to provide us with the language of ideas by which we interpret today’s. I have discovered to my joy that some things I wanted to be—back then, I am blessed today because they never happened the way I dreamed they should. My plans foiled by life forces—or as I believe, Divine providence—outside my control.
And since no one is reading this I might confess that some of my iCloud space has been reserved for a few embarrassments and regrettable choices I wish I could relive only with a few more brain cells. One of my biggest regrets is not spending more time with the wife. Allowing a busy schedule to come first. But all in all, it’s been a good life. There are too many blessings to deny that. What other route would have given me—not just three sons, but—Tim, James, and Josh. Not to minimize the absolute love of grandkids.
No. Addressing life itself, I would say, “We’re good!”
I use to have a repeated and most emotionally rewarding night dream of climbing a ladder and accessing a program I wrote that is hidden away in the cloud. When no one was looking I climbed up there and found pleasure in running it successfully. You see, it was my program; I wrote it. When I came down, I would hide the ladder and no one looking up saw anything unusual about a fluffy cumulous pillow with sunbeams highlighting its wonderment. No one knew anything.
But I did.
He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. — Ps. 91:1
[Proverbs 25:2; Deuteronomy 29:29]