I recently watched the new 11-22-1963 miniseries on Hulu. It was done really well. I will try not to give too much detail so I won’t completely ruin the story. It is set in today’s time and there is this mysterious portal to the past that is discovered by a friend of the main character. He uses the portal to go back in time to stop the Kennedy assassination. Well, here’s the spoiler….he stops Lee Harvey Oswald and saves Kennedy but when he comes back to 2016 he arrives in a world of chaos. Again, I don’t want to give too much detail but saving Kennedy screws up EVERYTHING.
This got me thinking about my past. I starting replaying all the screwed up decisions I’ve made over the years and all the mistakes I have made. We’ve all thought, “if only I could go back in time and redo those mistakes my life would be amazing!” Maybe we are right and it would be amazing but how do we know? The tragedies of the past may have been divinely placed in our lives to put us right where we need to be.
I mean think about it…
If Hitler would not have rose to power and tried to take over the world, would Jerusalem be reclaimed by the Jews? Most definitely not. They would still be displaced throughout the world with no Promised Land to call home.
If the Soviets would not have beat us in breaching space would America have ever thrown all its resources into lamding on the moon? Would I have the technology to be typing this on a phone in my garage? The technology arguably would not have advanced to this point without that race to space.
Would the Americas have been colonized if not for the famous mistake by Christopher Columbus? Eventually, yes. But what would this continent look like today? Would the US exist without any of the essential mishaps that led to its creation? Probably not.
Looking at the past in this way changes my view on my “mistakes” of my past. What if I could go back and change even one of those things? I would be a totally different person. I would have never met my wife if I would have gone to college right after high school. I would have never adopted my son or daughter. I wouldn’t have gotten to hold my new born daughter. There are so many good things I would have missed by changing one decision to the “right” one.
Our accomplishments as well as our failures make us who we are. They set us on the right course. They teach us the lessons we need for the future. To go back and change them would destroy who we are and diminish the purpose of our lives.
Embrace your past instead of trying to escape it. Look on your tradgedies and mistakes with reverence and celebrate where they have led you. Each mistake has taught you. Each tragedy has molded you. Each accomplishment was built on them. Each new adventure in your future is directed by all the stories of your past.
Thank God I am a screw up!