The Spirit stopped; the hand was pointed elsewhere.
"The house is yonder," Scrooge exclaimed. "Why do you point away?"
The inexorable finger underwent no change.
Scrooge hastened to the window of his office, and looked in. It was an office still, but not his. The furniture was not the same, and the figure in the chair was not himself. The Phantom pointed as before.
Scrooge is peering through a window into his future in this little passage. He's searching for some hint about what he will become of him. The Ghost of the Future is pointing with his inexorable finger toward a different destination, but Scrooge can't resist taking control, going to his place of business and finding not himself, but a stranger.
I'm not sure I would want to peer into the future as Scrooge does. I'd be a little to nervous about witnessing the seeds of the past and present taking root and growing. Don't get me wrong. I'm not a serial killer or a bank robber. I don't kick puppies or kittens. However, like everyone else, I've said and done some things in the past of which I'm not too proud.
I've been thinking about one particular incident. It happened many years ago. My wife and I were going to a birthday party for my wife's sister. I believe my sister-in-law was turning 30. Anyway, it was supposed to be a Mexican-themed party, with everybody bringing a Mexican dish to pass. My wife decided to make quesadillas. Well, the day of the party, we found out that my wife's other sister was bringing quesadillas, as well. So my wife decided to make peanut butter and banana quesadillas for the kids. Well, the peanut butter ran. The bananas slipped out of the tortilla shells. The whole concoction was a mess.
The people at the party made jokes and teased my wife. Instead of defending her, I made a joke, as well. My wife has battled low self-esteem all her life. When I made my joke, she started to cry. I apologized to her immediately, but, after all these years, I still feel incredible guilt. My wife and I have had our share of struggles over the years. Perhaps, if I'd been a little more supportive and kind, I could have helped my wife overcome her self-confidence issues. Perhaps her life would be easier right now if I'd just been a better person myself.
I'm not sure in which direction that inexorable finger of the future is pointing for me right now, but, this morning, I'm reminding myself to be compassionate, more understanding. And I'm apologizing to my wife, telling her how lucky I am to have her as my partner.
Plus, Saint Marty loves peanut butter and banana quesadillas now.
|Don't knock 'em 'til you try 'em|