It is interesting to look back and remember. There is part of me that wants to think that everything I touched worked out for good in the end. As I open my eyes, my actions have left a marked on stories that worked as well as ones that did not. For most, the story is still incomplete. When I look for clear marks of success, I often find that success is fleeting.
Two questions emerge from the view. The first is one of evaluation; did I make a positive difference and if so, how do I measure it? As time lengthens the question becomes more difficult. How long did I expect my touch to last? What did I do that reached the heart?
Even as I begin to punish myself, I realize that my questions are flawed. The path another takes is her/his own. While I can help or hinder their journey, I cannot make her/his choice. Whatever it is that they choose to do, it is the result of how s/he uses her/his freedom. Validation for this view is shown in every generation. Even centuries ago, one writer captured it “in brief: The Master saved a people out of the land of Egypt. Later he destroyed those who defected. And you know the story of the angels who didn’t stick to their post, abandoning it for other, darker missions. But they are now chained and jailed in a black hole until the great Judgment Day.” (Jude 1.6)
In short, it does not matter with what another does with your or my touch. Life reminds me that how others use our action is out of our control. We hold an opportunity to make a difference.
Our path is documented by our actions. In doing what is right – modeling compassion, dispensing mercy, and showing love – we open doors for others to be greater than s/he already is. It is a gift you and I have within us, given to us by God.
In looking back I find the opportunity to be better in the moment at hand.