Father Brendan Lee: Still living? Then you have a future

DO SOMETHING: Father Brendan Lee says that even if we have failed, we can all take steps to make our futures better.
DO SOMETHING: Father Brendan Lee says that even if we have failed, we can all take steps to make our futures better.

You know, I only reminisce on my footy days to teach people about religion. So an old teammate and I were reminiscing on our time at the East Wagga Kooringal Hawks Football Club when I kicked yet another goal against Narrandera – a real David and Goliath match-up.

It was a wet ground, like in the days of Noah, but did that scare me? No.

I fought like Isaiah against the prophets of Baal!

How did I kick yet another goal? I saw a particularly tough ruck going on, but fearlessly went in like Daniel into the lions’ den! 

A couple of Narrandera players tried to shepherd me, and not like Jesus, but I pushed through them like Samson through the Philistines.

I dove in and picked off that ball like Eve picking off the forbidden fruit, splitting the fierce Narrandera pack like Moses parting the Red Sea.

After this heroic performance, of Biblical proportions, I kicked a goal like … hmmm, I can’t remember anyone in the Bible who actually kicked an Australian Rules goal.

But I remember so very clearly kicking that goal against Narrandera … or did I only kick a behind?

While we may forget a few things here and there along the way – and some things perhaps are best forgotten – it is also true that, in serious matters, your past matters.

So we have a new Prime Minister … again. Why? I think in part because of the way our old Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull came to power.

Mr Turnbull was wrestled to the ground by Scott Morrison, using a similar move Mr Turnbull used on the then-Prime Minister Tony Abbott.  

As Jesus said: “He who lives by the sword, dies by the sword.” Our past matters.

Consider the recent discovery of the horrible past of US Cardinal Theodore McCarrick that will continue to hurt people’s lives well into the future. Our past matters.

But the fact that our past matters isn’t always bad news. Of the 16 teams in this year’s all-over-the-place season of the NRL, only one team has lost all of its last three games: the mighty South Sydney Rabbitohs.

So, why are they equal-second on the ladder and happily finals-bound?

Because up until July, the Rabbitohs were having their longest unbeaten run in 29 years. So the fact that our past matters can also clearly work in our favour.

But what can you do now if you have a past you are not proud of? I mean, you can’t change your past, right?

Well, the good news is you can change your past … slowly.

I can think of mornings where I have hit that wicked snooze button just once and slept in for only 10 minutes, but it threw my whole day out.

It’s not my fault – Sanyo should not have made it the biggest button on the clock!

Seriously, if you stop blaming Sanyo and start blaming yourself for past sleep-ins, you can start getting up on time tomorrow. And then the next day, and then the next day...

As the days clock up and you move more and more into the future, your past is now organised – not a series of sleep-ins.

We are creating the past of our future now, and this is an exciting possibility. Teenagers will sometimes tell me “Father, my life is ruined!” Or even “my life is over!” But nobody can honestly say this, not even the elderly – only the dead.

We are creating the past of our future now, and this is an exciting possibility.

Teenagers will sometimes tell me “Father, my life is ruined!”

Or even “my life is over!”

But nobody can honestly say this, not even the elderly – only the dead.

There’s a saying “the pain of discipline weighs kilograms, but the pain of regret weighs tonnes.”

Yes, your past matters. So you need to do the good and great things now.

Do them now while your future past is still your present, and so that you don’t have huge regrets later in life.

If you’re sick of having regrets and a dark past, then do something by brightening up your present.

If you see yourself as a failure, you may be accurate in your self-assessment. However, even losers still have a future.

Maybe right now you have a bad past. But whether you still have a bad past in the future is very much up to what sort of life you choose to start living now.

Twitter: @fatherbrendanelee