I was talking to a friend about “the past” today. We were talking about some really hard times and how we just want to forget “the past” sometimes.
I agree with Paul’s words where he said:
Philippians 3:12-14 (New Living Translation)
12 I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. 13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.
Reflecting on the past can be tricky. For some, they get stuck there. They aren’t able to fully engage in the present because the refuse to move on from the past. Maybe there were better days in the past, great memories, and it makes it hard to endure what’s happening now. For others, the past is filled with a ton of pain and really discouraging times.
I like to think of the past within the context of driving. To be a great driver you need perspective. You need to be aware of everything around you. Just like your rear view mirror, which lets you look back to know exactly where you are, I think your past gives you perspective to your present surroundings. However, if you only drive using your rear view mirror – watch out, you’ll more than likely crash big time! Not a pleasant experience. To examine your past sometimes is important, but the trick is to do so not on your own, but with God’s lenses. On your own you examine the past and can quickly be ridden with guilt, re-acquainted with bitterness, pulled into sorrowful places…but if you examine with God’s lenses you’re better equipped to discover the places where He was so faithful. Adding God to the filter let’s you see that during the times you thought you were really alone, you weren’t – HE was there. Or during the times you thought you’d never make it through, you did – because HE was there. Examining your past with God in the mix really can give you a beautiful picture of HIS faithfulness.
So, remember the past gives us perspective – don’t dwell there or you’ll crash, but be encouraged when you reflect and see God’s faithfulness, then keep your eyes on what’s before you! There’s many more bends in the road, but you can be assured God will equip you for each and every one!