September 18th, 2019


A Message from Your Very Recent Past

By G. E. Shuman
When you read this in the paper, you will learn that you and I, right now, from both of our perspectives, are actually in two different times. We aren’t in two different time zones, not unless you live further west than do most of my readers. We are, literally, in two different times. You see, you, as you live and breathe in the day in which you exist, ‘right now,’ are on the other side of a great divide that separates us; me at this writing, and you at the reading of it, by that magical millisecond after the ball drops, the horns blow, and the fireworks blast off proclaiming the beginning of a brand new year.

You see, I am still in the year 2015, as I write these words, and you are not, as you read them. I am writing on Wednesday, December 30th, 2015, and you are reading this column ‘next year’, from my point of view. I am way back in ‘last year’, to you. Isn’t that strange? Okay, so maybe it’s only me that is strange. I do have a different way of looking at things sometimes. I remember hearing a comedian one time, joke that people always want to see a picture of him ‘when he was younger.’ His reply was that EVERY picture ever taken of him was when he was younger. I guess that’s the same concept as with me, now writing to you from your recent past, isn’t it?

Anyway, there you are, way over there on the other side of the divide, and here I am, still in 2015. From our opposing viewpoints on things, you can look back at me, imagine me writing this column, right now, where I am, and, more importantly, WHEN I am, and wonder a few things that people always wonder about at the time of year you are in. You may wonder how the year 2015 could have been different, how it could have been better. You might think of things you did or didn’t do, and decisions you made or didn’t make, in this year that I am still in, as I write. You may be happy that the old year is in the past; you know, the old ‘Out with old, and in with the new’, idea. But, whatever was done with my still present year of 2015, it’s over for you now, and not one thing about it can be changed. Nothing can be changed in whatever you did, or didn’t do, while you were here with me. I once heard one of the wisest men of our time, The Reverend Billy Graham, say about a person’s past, that, and I quote him “You cain’t unscramble eggs.” (The ‘I’ in the word can’t is intentional, as that is how he said it.)

I, on the other hand, look ahead at you, and I mean straight at you, and wonder about the future. What great things, and not so great things are YOU going to accomplish in 2016. What person are you going to vote for and help elect to be the next President of this great land of ours? What school or church are you going to attend? What are you really going to do with those New Year’s resolutions you made, just last week? (From your point of view.)Ę (I’m lucky, I haven’t even decided whether or not I will make a resolution ‘this year’Éand still have a few more hours left to think about that.) What changes might you make in your work life, home life, or your spiritual life in your brand new year? Another sort of paraphrased quote, because I don’t know the source, simply says, “If you find yourself heading in the wrong direction, remember, God allows U-turns.” I love that one.

So, I will leave you now. I have to finish up whatever I’m going to do before I join you over on ‘the other side’, in that new calendar year called 2016. Save me a spot over there, if you would. I hope that you will please remember something else when you think about what you might do in the coming weeks, months, and years of that very precious life that you have been given. It is one more quote, and it is a REALLY important one: “Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.” – Carl Bard.

So, my friend, you lucky person who is actually living in ‘my future’ world of 2016…What will YOUR “brand new ending” be? Hey, wait for me…I’ll be in 2016 with you before you know it and in 2017 before you can even comprehend how quickly that next new year came, and then, how quickly it went. So I will say: Happy New Year! (Whatever new year it is.)

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