Mark is a lovely young man with a great personality. He is dedicated to G-d and community and is loved by all. He just has one little problem – his failure to launch. He’s pushing thirty and still living at home with his parents. It’s beginning to bother his parents who imagined that by now they’d be able to wander around the house all day in their pyjamas.
“I could’ve been a doctor,” he tells me one day. “My life would’ve been different if I’d gone to medical school. Instead, I chose a fine arts degree because that’s what I enjoyed.”
“So why don’t you go now?” I asked.
“Oh, it’s too late for that now. I should’ve done it years ago.”
The Megillah begins “And it was in the days of Ahasuerus.”
Rabbi Levi (or some say, Rabbi Jonathan) taught: We have a tradition from the Men of the Great Assembly – any place where Scripture employs the phrase “And it was” denotes trouble.
“And it was in the days of Ahasuerus.” And there was Haman.
“And it was in the days the judges judged.” And there was famine.
“And it was when man began to multiply.” “And G-d saw that man’s sin was great [and decided to bring the Flood].”
“And it was when they travelled from the east.” “Let us build a city [with a tower reaching to heaven].”
When you live your life by “And it was,” you are asking for trouble. Too many people think about what they should’ve done, what would’ve been and what could’ve happened, instead of looking forward to what they should do and what they could become if only they would look ahead.
Don’t live in the past! As the cliché goes, “Yesterday is history, tomorrow’s a mystery. Today’s a gift – that’s why it’s called the present!” If you want to achieve happiness and success in life, don’t look backwards, always look forward. Lot's wife looked back and remember what happened to her.
You can be whatever you ever dreamed of. You have an entire lifetime ahead of you. A couple of ‘lost’ years are nothing in the great scheme of life. Don’t think about what “was;” just imagine what ‘will be!’