Saturday, January 25, 2014

Hindsight in a Foresight Position

When i was in college, our school had a chaplain, whose name i don't remember.  He was sincere, kind of dramatic, had a great speaking voice, and often struck a caricature thinking man type pose, multiple times during his sermons, a behavior which made him the subject of good-hearted mimicry and laughter on many occasions.  But we loved him, and he helped teach us wisdom, and even though i don't remember his name, i find that God used him to make a valuable impact on my life.

Thinking Man Chaplain often told us about lessons he had learned from his mentor, whose name, also, i don't remember.  But one of the very often repeated lessons that Thinking Man Chaplain had learned from his mentor was, to practice, "hindsight in a foresight position."  You know, because "hindsight is always 20/20," and foresight is where you are before you can see clearly where your choices will lead.

This is a very difficult concept.  Hindsight is 20/20 because you already did it!  How can you have hindsight before you experience something?!

I'm not sure if i ever fully understood what Thinking Man Chaplain was trying to explain to us, but over the years since then, the phrase has echoed in my mind, and i've learned to play a little game with myself when considering a decision or an opportunity.

I imagine myself in the future, i look backward at a situation or decision that i face right now, and ask myself, "will i regret this?" or "will i regret not doing this?"  Better yet, i ask myself if the sacrifice i make now will be worth the benefit in the future.  Or if the future sacrifice that my present actions will dictate, will be worth the present benefit. What outweighs what?

This game i play, in the pursuit of wisdom, has helped me and my Gun Slingin' Super Hero to make some really good decisions in our life and in our marriage.  It helps us to semi-objectively evaluate our motivations and our values, to make corrections, which helps us avoid the ramifications of inaction or impulsiveness.The pictures that i form in my mind about what i perceive to be the outcome of my actions, are the things that make it easier and possible to take, and continue to take or avoid, action that i would not otherwise be willing to endure.

This lesson has been heavy in our humble household lately, as we consider some important goals and prepare to make some significant sacrifices in favor of what we value to be of great and eternal importance.  Because the things we do and don't do, really do have eternal importance.


What do you think about that?