The other day I was headed home from having my teeth cleaned at the dentist. The elevator opened and I hopped in, pushing the button to descend to the lobby. I was busy placing my phone off silent since I had it quieted for my appointment. The elevator stopped and the doors opened. I walked off as a gentleman entered. Only then did I look up and realized that we had stopped on the level before the lobby to pick up this passenger. I laughed, admitted my mistake and hopped back on. He was very gracious and shared that he had done the same thing before.
That incident got me thinking that we should always look where we are going. It is important to be looking forward. I never would have exited onto the 3rd floor if I had been watching. What if the doors had opened between floors, malfunctioning and I stepped into thin air and fell and…… Okay. So I am being melodramatic.
However, there is a point to be made. Where are we looking if we are not looking forward in the direction we are moving? Are we busy looking backward, concerned with where we have been? Is the past so wonderful that we cannot leave it behind to move forward into the great opportunities we face daily? How do we know the future will not be just as wonderful if we are not prepared and willing to see new things in front of us?
Perhaps your past is so painful that you fear it will catch up to you because of a mistake you made. Constantly glancing backward over your shoulder occurs out of anxiety. The dread you feel is not necessarily of the future, but of guilt that still has a grasp on you. Remember that if you possess a painful past, God can remove that. There is no shame in beginning new and fresh when you have sought forgiveness and freedom in Christ. Trust that you can try again without condemnation and go for it!
If your past holds memories that are bittersweet, you face the conflict of looking backward wishing for days gone by. Reliving your past joys can cause pain though. I fit into this category at times. I long for the life I had with my husband. While it was not perfect, it was ours. We enjoyed good times together and knew that when push came to shove – we had each other. Now those days are gone. When I find that I look back, I must be careful not to give up on the present and future that I know God has for me. The past is just that – past.
By looking forward and focusing on the opportunities presented us today, we can find joy. Moving our eyes and hearts to face forward, allows us to heal and learn to anticipate the good things still to come. As we move forward, we do not lose our old memories – we just learn how to incorporate them into our new lives ahead.
Until next time –