Friday, November 16, 2007

You Do Not Want to Know

A Peanuts cartoon that once made a big impression on me showed Lucy, face cupped in hands, elbows resting on a window sill, looking out at the world.

Charlie Brown asks, "What are you thinking about?"

"I'm wondering what the best day of my life will be like," says Lucy.

Charlie Brown thinks for a while and then says, "What if you've already had it?"

That sort of fits with a dream I had last night in which I was getting phone messages from the future. Friends were calling me to offer condolences on the death of my husband, for example, while he was still standing right there in front of me, healthy as could be. Others were calling me just to keep in touch, and they'd say things like, "I hear your grandson got a new job," when to me, my grandsons were still only three years old. Someone else said, "It's a shame about so-and-so going into a nursing home," when I still knew her as middle aged. Stuff like that, mostly not thrilling.

My father, who was sitting there, alert and aware as anyone else, asked me who were all these calls from. I told him from the future, and I added, "You do not want to know the future."

"I do!" said he, with a smile.

"No, no. You do not."

After I woke up, I wondered what if Dad had known, 20 years ago, that by today he wouldn't even know our names.

Truly, we do not want to know. Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof. Those saints to whom God has given that gift surely bear it as a terrible burden, and God certainly does not give it to gratify curiosity, but that he who has it may use it to help others.


DebD said...

oh my! That sounds like a very distressing dream.

Elizabeth said...

Not a nice dream at all.

You are so right about the clairvoyance aspect of the Holy Elders - what a responsibility and a burden they carry.

Doorman-Priest said...

How poignant.

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

Maybe it's just the age I've come to. I mean, there used to be some questions I would have given a lot to know the answers to: will I marry the right man? Will my children turn out well? But by now I've lived long enough to have received the answers to such questions. (YES! I did and my children did!) What do I want to know now? How I will die? How my loved ones will die? No thanks. I'll deal with one day at a time, as each day dawns.