Tugs from the Future

Tugs from the Future

I read so many articles on time that I got lost. One that I do remember is the concept that all of time exists at the same time. Time doesn’t move; we just progress through it. Of course, that also means that potential futures exist as well – the paths not taken, the good paths, and the bad paths.

How do we know which path to take? I’m thinking about gravity; I’m thinking about the tug of gravity. At a distance, it is very faint, hardly felt. If we are steering a car, it is the small adjustment that keeps us in our lane. Gravity gets stronger the closer we come.

The other day, I was driving up a small hill into the setting sun. When I crested the hill, there was a blinding flash that obscured the windshield. Suddenly, a highway divider appeared directly in front of me, briefly filling my field of vision. It took a violent jerk of the steering wheel to set me back on a safe track.

The “right future” tugs at us. If we pay attention, we only have to make slight corrections; otherwise, we jerk the wheel with major effort until we either get on the correct path or we finally crash into a path that is not successful, a “bad future.”

What determines the “good” from the “bad”? That is certainly pretty basic – the difference between right and wrong. The classic definition of sin is “missing the mark.” The image is of an arrow sticking in a bale of hay but several inches from the center of the bullseye.

What if the arrow is in the bale, and then we draw the bullseye later, with the arrow in the center? If we move the bullseye after each time we shoot each arrow, then we would never “miss the mark,” and we would never sin. Some people actually live their lives this way, and they rationalize any choice that presents itself. I think they are not only jerking the wheel left and right, but they are doing it randomly, not as a corrective measure. Most importantly, I think they get lost.

The “good future” has a gravitational pull that directs our steering. A successful life is arriving safely at our destination, wherever that may be.