There is a belief expressed by our actions that the morning after resets everything. Whatever happened yesterday left with the darkness. Today’s dawn is a fresh start with opportunities and freedom to choose the path that is uniquely ours. I agree that the premise has merit. You and I can, at any given moment, choose a new path. Within each is an ability to choose that is only limited by the limits we have chosen to set.
There is another part to our reality that often is dropped as one reloads and resets. In addition to our freedom today, we are also accountable to what we did with our freedom yesterday. Even as I write the words, I wrestle with the sadness of lost opportunities, missed windows, and choices that fell short of my ideals. Sometimes one can take solace in the knowledge that it was difficult to see the best option under the circumstances.
I find myself wrestling with the conundrum of past and present while holding onto a few mantras.
We fail and we are accountable for our failures. The psalmist is right on one level; “Nobody gets by with anything, no one plays fast and loose with him.” (Psalm 76.12) The narrative that anyone is perfect is false. We all fail. This being true, it is important to remember that it is not the end of the story.
We can, in each moment, choose our path. The path of yesterday need not be today’s. This is a gift within us that cannot be taken. It often goes under the label of freedom.
We have a choice when it comes to the past. We can let the Past try to dictate the present. Alternatively, we can accept the Spirit’s gift of Forgiveness and Compassion, accepting the past and dealing with it while making the choice of the future with a clean slate. At times, I feel guilty accepting this gift, yet it is one universally available, offered by Life.
Freedom is an opportunity to reach for the future while being responsive to the past.