“It’s my life!”
In the week following Christmases ago, an old timey preacher listened gravely, though not condemningly, to a young man as he confessed his love and determination to run off with a married woman in the congregation–after which–the tall grandfather clock in the far corner of the study seemed indignant and extra loud as if it were counting down to the Day of Judgement instead of the new year.
In the thoughtful silence which ensued, the preacher removed his thick glasses, fogged the lenses with his breath, and wiped each slowly with a handkerchief–the one he always used to blot holy sermon sweat from his brow. Swiveling around in a squeaky chair, he reached for the paper tray situated beneath the HP printer he barely knew how to use and retrieved a clean sheet.
“Son, if you came here for my blessing, you certainly don’t have it. But neither do I have any stones to throw. What I do have is this piece of paper, white as snow, and I want you to scratch it up with this free Anniversary Sunday pencil.”
“I don’t understand.”
“You will take the next few moments to jot down every possible consequence and irreversible outcome of your pending decision. Once you are finished—and not before—I want you to add a title to the top of the page, “This is My Life” and hand it back to me. I will read every word aloud to you.”