Douglas Adams' classic 'Hitch-hiker's Guide To The Galaxy' talks about a machine called the Total Perspective Vortex, a wonderful piece of technology which is used to represent 'the most horrible torture device to which a sentient being can be subjected'. What is so horrible about this machinery is not what it might do to your physical form, but what it does to your spirit. As Douglas himself describes:
"For when you are put into the Vortex you are given just one momentary glimpse of the entire unimaginable infinity of creation, and somewhere in it a tiny little marker, a microscopic dot on a microscopic dot, which says 'You are here'."
I've recently been through the Vortex. The Vortex tried its best to make me look small. It showed me glimpses from my past where I had made decisions which have affected me right to the present day. Career choices, that sort of thing. It tried to ridicule me about the various 'issues' that I'm wrestling with at present, telling me how different it could have been. How it could be again, if only I would ditch my Salvationist principles. It demonstrated to me times when I had clearly been made to look small in front of others. And today, it showed me a website which presented me with details of a former mate of mine who I used to see regularly over twenty years ago. He's now a science-fiction author with a string of books to his name.
And what about me?
I'm looking at the future, not the past. I'm assured that the best is yet to come for me. I know that it's not fame, or glory, or even riches. So I'm excited to know what it could be.