Never A Blank Page

“Parchment”, Lithograph on Paper, 1987

I opened my journal, preparing to jot down my morning thoughts and prayers. At first glance, the page seemed stark, even void of a date to delineate its location in time and space. I was encouraged by this, as it indicated a new day, a fresh start. All that had gone before was forgotten; as if all my poor decisions, all my hurtful words, and all my blundering actions never existed.

It didn’t take long, however, to realize that this perspective was nothing more than an illusion. A single page before, just on the other side of the paper, there existed evidence to the contrary: Documentation of yesterday’s journey with its struggles and its successes written in scrawling hand. Turning five flimsy pages back and the journal read like a Dickens’ tale of cruelty and longing, broken promises and frustration. (Also, lest you think I’m really that deep and reflective, I note what I ate for lunch and the fact that my dog enjoyed our walk to the park.)

You see, there is never a blank page. Our lives are not new each day. Instead, they are an unfolding story with twists and turns, highs and lows, deep moments and shallow, perhaps enjoyable experiences. The decisions we made yesterday herald the actions of today. Sure, we can write a new chapter, but the prior pages tell a riveting tale that should never be ignored…or forgotten.

For the story of our life can, and should, serve as a cautionary tale, a guidebook for the future days of our lives. We can learn from our past mistakes and correct our ways. We can relive our successful moments and build on them.

The book of our life, much like Dickens’ famous character Scrooge, is not fully written. Tiny Tim does NOT have to die. We can live in the past, present, and the future, making the most of every moment and in so doing, writing new chapters that will herald a feel-good ending when all the “I’s” are dotted and all the “T’s” crossed.¬†

If done well, the readers of our lives who have watched us struggle and succeed, will celebrate when we come to The End of the story of our lives.

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