Friday, January 01, 2016

No Passage Back

Frozen New Year’s Day morning and I’m on my way to work with a line from an old Eagles song running through my head:

“I had to find the passage back to the place I was before …”

Except there is no passage back to the place we were before, is there.

Time is unidirectional and it seems to move faster as we age. The speed is probably a conceit of advancing years, but it certainly feels like a truism.

People handle it differently, the ticking of the clock, the encroaching sense of inevitability. Denial, hard work to push back unpleasant thoughts, the Circle of Life rubbish you often hear. Thank you, but those nearing the decomposition part of the circle of life are not inclined to sing about it, Elton.

Jesus wept at the grave of Lazarus. Death is a curse and an abomination. It is the doom of fallen man. But it is not the natural state of creation. Creation groans, waiting for deliverance.

And death is also a gracious protection by a loving Father from the spectacular horrors we might commit if we were able to live forever in our sinful state; from the rot that would ensue if man marinated in Self for endless centuries.

People often talk about what they would do if they could go back and relive portions of their lives with the knowledge they have now. But there is no passage back.

There is a passage forward.

The apostle Paul talks about knowing Christ, knowing the fellowship of his sufferings, attain[ing] (not earning) the resurrection of the dead. And he ends with:
“One thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
Then he adds this: “Let those of us who are mature think this way”.

Let those of us who are mature not mourn the passing of another year. Let us not waste time and energy in useless regret or sentimental meandering through the past. Plenty of mistakes were made and maybe good times were had too, but there is no passage back.

There is, however, an upward call. Happy New Year.


  1. Yes, Happy New Year to all indeed. Although I just looked out the window and can't tell much of a difference between last year and now. Still wet, cold & dreary, snowy looking. Same floods, fires, accidents, indiscretions, crime, etc. on this morning's news as in last year's. But, maybe it's simply too early to tell. Maybe I'll simply go watch the movie Grumpy Old Men one more time :-S.

    1. Haven't seen it, but from the title I suspect I might relate ... we had snow this morning too.