The summer in my rearview mirror
By Dr. James L. Snyder
I awoke last Tuesday with a strange feeling I had missed something. Not only that, but I was shivering like a polar bear without his pajamas. I knew something was wrong but to put my finger on it was just too early in the morning for me.
The condition progressed to such a degree I had to swallow my pride and inquire of the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage.
So I approached her and said, “Am I sick or what?”
Quick as a wink she said, “Off the top of my head I would say you are ‘or what.’ Why do you ask?”
I explained to her about the feeling I had that something was missing and on top of that, I could not stop shivering.
“Well,” she said, “you’re not sick and I don’t understand how you could be cold.”
I looked aimlessly out the window and began to shiver more. “It looks like it’s cold out there,” I complained.
My wife looked at me with one of those looks that every husband knows and fears, and said, “It should be cold outside, its winter, for Pete’s sake.”
I just stared out the window at the bleakness of the morning, wondering where in the world summer went. At the moment, it did not seem possible to me that summer was over. Is not that the way things go? Just as soon as you get used to something, it is over.
When I was young, my whole life was looking forward, but now that I am old, I spend part of my time looking at the rearview mirror. That is the wonderful advantage of growing older. When you are young, you do not have anything to look back to. The older you get the more you have to look back on.
I have a few things I reflect on. One is the memories I have gained throughout the years. Often when my wife and I are sitting together one of us will say, “Do you remember when…?” Then one of us will recite a wonderful memory from the past and have a good laugh together.
One of the wonderful things about a person’s memory is that it is personal. I will not say that I enhance my memories, of course I do, but I will not confess to it. If it is my memory I should be able to recite it any which way I please. I especially enjoy those memories I share with no one else. Because then, I have the freedom to remember it any which way I please.
In looking back, there are those things we refer to as regrets. I suppose everybody tries to live in such a way to keep regrets to a minimum. I have a long list of things I regret doing or saying or not doing or not saying.
The apostle Paul practiced the fine art of forgetting. He wrote, “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14 KJV).
My rearview mirror is full and the temptation is to focus solely on them missing the scenery in front of me.