“Only a fool walks into the future backward.” – Commander General Trimack, Stone of Tears
Let me give you the context of this quote: Richard has just unknowingly become the new Lord Rahl (complicated story/family line; not important right now). Commander General Trimack is the head of the First File, the final ring of steel around Lord Rahl. If all else fails, the First File is responsible for ensuring the final defense of Lord Rahl. Their motto is: their lives before Lord Rahl gets harmed.
As stated earlier, Richard has unknowingly become the new Lord Rahl, partially because he has assassinated the former Lord Rahl, and also because Richard is next in line for the bloodline of the Rahl’s to rule D’Hara.
Richard and his father are vastly different. Darken Rahl, Richard’s father, was concerned with nothing but controlling the world, becoming its sole ruler, using a very powerful magic.
Richard hates magic, only using the magic of the Sword of Truth that he carries as Seeker to do what is necessary to save civilization. However, what Richard is unaware of at this point in the story is that he is a war wizard, a very rare, and powerful wizard, the first in almost 3,000 years.
To put this quote into context, Zedd has shared with Commander Trimack that just the previous day, the Commander would have killed Richard to ensure that Richard never made it to Darken Rahl to assassinate him, and now the Commander is to serve Richard as the new Lord Rahl. The Commander gives a very startling, and eye opening, response:
“And yesterday he (Richard) would have killed me to get at his foe. But now we serve each other. Only a fool walks into the future backward.”
How true the Commander’s statement is.
In our world, things are constantly changing: political parties, alliances with other nations, wars, rulers, elected officials, family and marriage values. We see it every day.
And we constantly say things like, “I wish things were like they before” or “That’s how we’ve always done it. There’s no sense in changing it”. We want things the way they were in the past.
We walk into the future backward.
We see what once was and we fail to see how things are. Our eyes are on the past and we want to drag everyone back to it.
Now, as a Christian, I do believe that there are some things that should never change, that we should look to past for, and most of that involves the beliefs that we hold regarding Christ and the world.
But when we go forward into the world and cling to the past, trying to keep things the same, we end up walking into the future backward.
And that is a foolish thing to do.
So, what should we do?
Look at what’s changing. Is it a good change? Does the change fit in with your beliefs, especially about God and Christ?
Let it happen. Don’t walk into the future backward.
If it is a bad change, or one that would cause friction with your beliefs, pray about it, look at it more closely and seek God’s will for the change.
If it is a change that would cause more harm than good, then fight against it.
But don’t fight against every change.
That is walking into the future backward.
And only a fool does that.