Time is arguably the most precious gift we have all received from Providence. Daily, everyone receives the 24hour package. That constantly runs into more days, weeks, months and years. Until the final bell tolls. Many people are much troubled when they suspect the tolling bell is not far away as they look behind to see vast stretches of wasted years. Wasted years that can never be regained. Wasted years that scream regrets and condemnation. Pouring toxins from the mind into the body. Making those latter years truly painful.
Can we get back wasted years in a realistic, rewarding way? Might Kim Kardashian and others campaigning to free prison inmates wrongly accused, derive more joy from their work if they learn Naomi’s secrets?
I have recently stumbled on a report about how to get back wasted years. I am excited seeing how the material will benefit persons who served prison terms for offences they did not commit. I am also excited for persons who have suffered unjustly not necessarily in prison confinement but who have stories to tell of wasted years.
Naomi saw her life pass before her in a painful flash. She had buried her husband and two grown-up sons within two decades. Much precious time had passed. The prime of her years had passed and she had no trophy in her closet to treasure. Her life was bitter. But she was not bitter. The two are not the same. This emphasis is crucial in attempts to reclaim wasted years in any meaningful way. She resolved to be kind to others in spite of the bitterness that assailed her. She resolved to be considerate of others in spite of the bitterness that lurked in her shadows. She indulged the darkness in her soul but still reached out to others fighting their own demons.
She gave up on marriage but wished it for others. Beyond merely wishing that those younger than she was be happily married, she actually took practical steps to see to it that such dreams came through.
Herein lies her chiefest contribution to efforts at reclaiming wasted years in a realistic, rewarding way. For some inexplicable reason, she chanced upon a huge discovery. Next to God, people are the real deal. What is a mansion without people? What is an office or a factory without people? What is a road without other road users? What is a television program without viewers? What is a classic car without a place to drive it to meet people? What is an executive jet without an airport to meet people? What is a hotel without people? What is the cinema without people? What is a party without people? Are there truly unforgettable moments without people? Does not our feeling good about ourselves have a significant people factor?
Those who have served their term should not spend the rest of their lives contemplating vengeance against the systems or persons that wasted their years. It is not worth it. Substitution is real. Surely, it is not the same as before but it would do nonetheless. It is better than emptiness or anger, bitterness and resentment. With an open heart and faith in God to lead, former strangers could become close buddies, enjoying a variety of pleasant moments.
Naomi became a stepmother, sister-in-law and grandmother, in the latter stages of her life. All of which gave her new opportunities for memorable moments. Exciting substitutions took place and it became a happy ending after all.