Last week's Thought Bite focused on how karma means "action" rather than "fate", so that if we don't like the harvest we're currently reaping, we can change our actions to reap a more satisfactory crop in the future. There is another important point to consider in this regard, and this is the delay in time that occurs between an action and the rebounding circumstances. Sometimes the delay is brief, and sometimes it's long. Actually, there's no way to know how long it will take. Our current circumstances are the result of our past actions, and a change in behavior will result in changed circumstances down the road, but when is not clear.
The great Himalayan Yogi Swami Rama offered a good way of envisioning this: He said that when we perform an action, it's like shooting an arrow into the air. Eventually that arrow will fall to ground, and that's when we receive the effects of our action. The arrows that are hitting the ground now, causing our current experiences, were shot in the past. Many arrows we shot in the past are still in flight and will hit ground in the future, and there's nothing we can do to change their character. We'll have to suffer through their effects. The only change we can make is with the arrows that we shoot now. The results of arrows shot in the past may be felt for a long time to come as they hit the ground. However, if we keep up the new behavior, consistently, over a long time, eventually the results of our changed actions will start to be felt.