Changing Our Clocks, Fast-forwards and Do-overs

by | Nov 8, 2023 | Formation, Reflections

Changing Clocks! It is a semi-annual ritual in many parts of the world. I suspect most of us sleep through it.

What happens to those hours lost or hours gained?

What if we could “replay” an hour that we lost in our lives. Of course, we don’t get to replay the hours we lost.

Nor do we get to skip ahead and see our futures as we change clocks.

But honestly looking forward at where our path is heading today, we might find some insight into what we need to do today!

In this Vincentian Mindwalk I will explore this annual ritual as something of a metaphor for our lives.

St. Vincent wanted a do-over

Vincent strongly regretted things he had written early in his life!

Vincentian scholars ask whether Vincent, in 1605, was really captured by pirates. 

It seems Vincent sold a rented horse for cash and then disappeared for two years, telling a grand story to explain his time.

There are three letters in his own hand that tell of such a capture.

But in his later years, when these letters came to light, he did all in his power to get those “dammed letters” back, most likely with the intention to destroy them.

Researchers still don’t agree about why he wished to take them back!

Today, there is still scholarly controversy about the story. All that is certain is that he really wanted those letters back.

Now, who among us would dare to claim that there are not things we later regretted and wish others did not know about?

Charles Dickens’ version of changing the time clocks of our lives

What if we could see where our lives were headed? if we keep doing what we are doing today? Would we change our lives today?

Isn’t that the timeless story of Ebenezer Scrooge?

In Dickens’ version of changing clocks, old Ebenezer gets to look at his life backwards and forwards.

We all know the story! Ebenezer Scrooge was visited by the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future. These visions changed his life!

Scrooge commits to being more generous and compassionate. He accepts his nephew’s invitation to Christmas dinner, provides for Cratchit and his family, and donates to the charity fund.

He looked at his vision and mission in life.

Changing the “clocks” of our lives and mission

The tale of Ebenezer can stimulate us to think about how we got to where we are today.

Is there anything we would fervently hope others never found out about?

Is there anything I can learn about today?

The tale invites us to look at the future we are creating now.

For those who have yet to make their choices of vocation and mission in life, this can be the time to look to the future and ask: what is the meaning or mission of my life?

For those who travel along a path chosen earlier, looking at our past lives can point us to implications for today and tomorrow.

What do I need to do now in terms of accepting and living that mission?

Checking our past, present, and future

  • How do I see my mission in life?
  • What would I most like to do over in my life?
  • As I look to the future, what do I need to change in my present to fulfill my future?

Originally posted on Vincentian Mindwalk