Go Back, Stand Still, Go Forward

 

J. D. Pendry

 

These three choices in time define the state of the humankind.I may have suffered a mild case of cabin fever breaking out into Springtime, but recently I wrassled with all three of them before making an important choice.Iíll tell you how that happened momentarily.First, I need to thank some friends who responded to my out-of-the-blue message last week.I know that sounds cryptic, but the friends know who they are and what I mean.I want to assure them of two things.I felt the friendship and concern.And, JD is firmly rooted in his little patch of Wild and Wonderful hillside.

 

I seek direction from a power much better than I am at problem solving.When I think He may have provided me the answer, I run it by those whose friendship and judgment Iíve grown to trust.Since my receiver doesnít always operate at full power or necessarily on the correct wavelength, itís my method for checking if I received the message clearly.If my confidants respond as if they believe I might be going nuts, I retune my receiverís frequency and ask for clarification.Sometimes, the answer needs to come at me from several directions before it breaks through my old, thick sergeant major skull and makes contact with my receiver group.To make a long explanation short, I asked for clarification.I received the retransmitted answer while walking behind the lawnmower.OK, stop laughing.

 

The smell of fresh cut grass triggers pleasant memories for me.Since my son was old enough to smack a baseball off the tee, we spent the Spring, Summer and much of each Fall on a baseball field.I store thousands of his baseball cards while waiting the arrival of a grandson to take them off my hands.Baseball times are the first memories I have when smelling fresh cut grass.I was in Germany the first year my son and all of my money was at Northern Illinois University.One Spring evening, I walked from my house in Patrick Henry Village over to the baseball field where he and I had spent much time.I sat on the bleachers and watched the kids playing.Soon, I was oblivious to what they were doing.Instead, I imagined my son pitching from the mound I was looking at.I remembered us playing pepper.I saw myself pitching batting practice and tossing up baseballs for him to hit off the backstop.I thought for a time that I might coach then realized I wasnít there for the baseball; I was there for the memories of the times spent with my son. I wanted yesterday back, but except for the memories, I couldnít have it.Neither could I stand still and try to live in those memories, as too often happens in life.I resolved that I needed to file them away and go forward to create new ones.Now, when I smell the grass or pass a field of kids playing baseball those pleasant memories, properly cataloged under yesterday make a brief, but pleasant pass through my mind.

 

My recent crisis involved a struggle about the best direction to take for the downhill stretch of my earthly existence.While looking for direction, I smelled the grass.One urge was to leave a secure, quiet, pleasant life and return to the action and insanity of the DC Beltway.I had a conflicting urge to pursue a project thatís been weighing on my mind for quite some time.One that will require much unpaid work, several years time and at the end might produce nothing of value to anyone but me.My other choice was doing neither.I could go back to a memory, stand still in time or go forward into the unknown to create new memories.Iím going forward because Iíve been reminded and assured that: ďTo every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the Heaven:Ē Ecclesiastes 3:1

For all my brothers and sisters of arms:Donít pine for the old Army.You are the old Army and the new one.

 

This self-chat was quite therapeutic.Thank you for indulging me.Feel free to apply my problem resolution formula to the personal or world problem of your choice.

 

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J.D. Pendry is author of The Three Meter Zone, Random House/Ballantine.

 

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