That wonderful old phrase about hindsight being 20-20 isn't just a way of warding off self-pitying comments about what could or should have been. There is a reason hindsight is often 20-20. We can benefit from recalling and remembering the near and distant past.
I can benefit from remembering what God has done for me. I can benefit from remembering how others have (often unexpectedly) helped, guided, encouraged, or warned me away from bad places and unkind people. I can benefit from remembering how I have overcome my own fear, made an expression or leap of faith, or reached out and beyond myself. I can benefit from considering my personal growth through time and through my experiences.
The value of 20-20 hindsight keeps me from getting caught in the tyranny of present circumstances. This is one reason why I journal regularly. My record of my own experience serves as a reminder of what I have dreamed, believed, acted upon, and enjoyed.
Even when looking back upon choices I regret---yes, I said it!--, there are lessons to be learned and wisdom to be embraced. I never trust those who say regrets are futile. Our regrets can be teachers and mile markers of our growth and progress. They can be quicksand. That decision is up to us.
During this Holy Week, we are recalling and celebrating bold, supernatural actions taken thousands of years ago that changed the world forever. I can make use of my limited 20-20 hindsight and take power, insight, and direction from the lessons of memory.
(c) 2012 Deborah Evans