Have you ever wondered why time is so one-way and restrictive? Like, why am I here right now instead of yesterday before that big mistake I made or tomorrow after that horrible thing I dread?
A Brief Story:
When I was but a lad—and also a Mormon missionary—I once borrowed a television from the local church meetinghouse. Some other missionaries were coming to visit for the night, and one of them wanted to show us some videos he'd shot. As I lifted it out of the car, the cord fell down far enough to drag on the ground.
"I should pick that up so I don't trip on it," I thought. Then I thought, "Nyah, I'll just be careful." I would have had to set the TV down, and it was an old boxy one, partly made of wood, and quite heavy.
You can see what's coming can't you?
I carried the TV with the screen against my chest and my arms around the sides far enough to grab the bottom. It was pretty well balanced. When I stepped on the cord—like you knew I would—it pulled the back of the TV just enough to tip it out of my hands and onto the sidewalk right outside our apartment.
There was a crunch. And a hiss. And I watched a circle in the middle of the screen darken. I knew exactly how bad the damage was.
And in that moment, I experienced the awful linearity of time. That WHY DID I DO THAT? feeling. It would have been so easy NOT to drop the TV. I shouldn't have even been borrowing it in the first place! What business did I have TAKING a TV from the CHURCH, let alone BREAKING IT?!
I would have given anything to get a second chance at the previous three seconds.
Stuff like that still happens to me, though not usually that bad. There was the could-have-been-fatal car mishap on an icy curve. The email with some unfortunate wording. Other stuff. Like, say, blog posts.
You know, the guy I had to call and tell I broke the TV was terrifying, but it wasn't so bad. When the branch got together to watch General Conference a few months later, he publicly thanked me for making it possible for them to get a brand new TV. It was humbling, as stupid mistakes always are.