Looking back

Joseph forgave his brothers. He invited the brothers who conspired to kill him, but instead sold him as a slave, to come and live with him. He told them to bring their father that they all would be able to thrive during the time of famine in Egypt. Joseph told them that all of their actions were part of God’s plan to save them.

It’s easy to look back and see how one path led to another and then to another and how everything worked together to bring a person, a family, or an organization to the place they are now.

But who’s to say that it had to happen that way?

Did Joseph need to be sold as a slave for the brothers to be saved years later? What if the brothers had never conspired? What if they all got along and Joseph still dreamed about a famine? What if Jacob had never given Joseph the long robe with sleeves and made the other brothers exceedingly jealous?  What if any of the parts of the story of the life of Joseph had been different? Would the brothers have survived?

I don’t know. No one knows.  We have no idea how different or the same things may have turned out if parts of our story had been changed.

It is wise to study history. It is wise to learn from the mistakes made throughout history so that we don’t repeat them. 

But I’m not one to look at history and say, ‘It had to happen this way, otherwise it . . . couldn’t have happened” or something like that. 

I am one to say that whether you’re moving forward, in reverse, or standing still-- embrace the continuing journey.

And be nice.

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