BrainTeaser | Sherma E Benosa

Life is a puzzle; we are the clues, and God is the answer.

If Living Were Like Reading a Novel

They say life is like a book that must be read page after page in order for it to be fully understood and appreciated. I agree (that is, if we’re talking about a book of novel, not a reference book). But remembering that I have nasty habits when reading a novel, I can’t help but wish that it isn’t so.

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Most of the time, I behave like a normal reader, patiently reading page after page, making guesses as to how the story might end.

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But there are times when I would forego several paragraphs or pages that I find uninteresting, and move on. Sometimes, I can completely understand the book even without having to go back to that part I’ve ignored. But there are times when only after I have gone back to the part I missed that I get to fully understand the succeeding events.

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There are also times when, even if I’m still in the middle part of the story, I would already turn to the last page, and read the ending. And then, before going back to the page where I’d left off, I would make guesses as to what might have happened somewhere between that page and the last page, that the story ended the way it did.

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Crazy, isn’t it?

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But that isn’t all. There’s another habit of mine which some friends find annoying: correcting typographical errors. Honestly, I also don’t think highly of this habit, but whenever I see an error in any printed (published) material I’m reading, I cannot help but correct it. Several times I tried to let go of the errors, but my thoughts kept coming back to them and my fingers would not let go of my pen that I eventually went back to the errors and marked them.

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Many of the books in my collection bear my “finger prints.” In fact, my father’s bible which I am using, a 1982 Ilocano version published by the Philippine Bible Society, has not escaped my “vicious hands.” Uh-oh!

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Now, imagine how my life would be like if I lived it the way I read books. Disaster!

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Good thing that, in this regard, I seem to be better at living my life than at reading a novel. For, though I often anticipate the future and feel giddy about what lies ahead, and I sometimes look back to the past, I don’t spend so much of my time wondering and being afraid of what the future might bring. Nor do I waste my time regretting an event that had happened in the past, which I can no longer change.

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Most often, I look forward to tomorrow just to make sure that what I am doing now would lead me to the person I would want to become. And I look back to yesterday simply to appreciate the present and to highlight the lessons I’ve learned — or should learn.

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Unlike a book that can be read whichever way by an impatient — and shall I say, crazy imp like myself — every life event must be experienced in succession. One cannot jump to future events without first living in the now; nor can one live fully in the now without having lived in the past.

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And finally, unlike a printed material that can be proofread even after it was published, life is not something that can be revisited again and again so that every slip-up, however small, can be fixed.

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No man, after all, is sin free. One can only sincerely apologize for the mistakes he can no longer right, and try hard not to commit them a second time.

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For when a leaf has fallen off a branch, there’s no way one could put it back on for it to continue living. All one can do is sweep the fallen leaf off the ground.  .

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//Sherma E. Benosa; 16 August 2007 

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6 comments on “If Living Were Like Reading a Novel

  1. Pingback: Book Reviews

  2. manjari
    April 2, 2008

    You really breathe life into your writing. It pulses. It’s as if, reading along, that I am face to face with this soulful, wistful woman. I look forward to reading all of your archives!

  3. brainteaser
    April 3, 2008

    Hello Manjari! Oh dear… you humbled me. I am speechless. I can only say thank you.

    Please come back often. 🙂

  4. Michelle
    April 4, 2008

    Living life while trying to constantly correct mistakes, or keep from making them in future was my futile life for many years. I am happy to say I have learned a better way – a much more fulfilling life in Jesus.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog today. I’ll be back for more enjoyable reading. 🙂

  5. Pingback: Images and Lines « BrainTeaser

  6. Pingback: Fallen Leaf « Photo.graphic Thoughts

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