What Lies Behind

We spend too much time looking backwards… Into the past…

Past FutureOften, the past is a threat to our present peace of mind. We worry over the choices made yesterday, or yester-year, or even a few minutes ago.

What could we have done then to make the present better? Why didn’t I do __________ (you fill in the blank.)? I should have kept my mouth shut! Why didn’t I say ______?

The  worries of yesterday threatens our peace today and drags our potential joy out of the future!

There are hidden blessings in lessons learned from past actions, true, but we mostly worry about the mistakes of the past. When you continually dwell on them you let them shadow your current blessings.

I was listening to a radio conversation yesterday when someone asked Mike Rowe how he dealt with rejection. (Mike Rowe article here) In wisdom born by practical experience he makes this comment:

“Seems to me that rejection is a reality in everyone’s life, but it’s a reality with no inherent power beyond the power we give it.” …. “You can’t separate your successes from your failures until you look back, and even then, there’s not much point in putting each into a separate column. It’s all a part of whatever path you’re on.

The past is full of successes and failures… Each one of them are full of good and bad points. They all work together. Life is not a balance between failures and success… It is the culmination of all the past failures and successes!

Click on the link above… Really… Go read the article… It’s that good…

His closing comments?

“But don’t misunderstand me,” he writes, “I don’t believe that, everything happens for a reason. I think we make our own luck, and the only real failure is the failure to try.”

This is the hidden thought that’s been churning through my mind the past few hours. We should minimize our dwelling on the past, learn from mistakes evident to our present, and live successfully into the future.

Circuit BreakerSome constantly live in a state of failure. There’s no connecting with the future, they are living in the past!

They have never matured enough to step out of a failed status and become successful.

It’s like they are a circuit breaker with a negative power draw. Every time the circuit tries to make a successful click, it instantly resets to failure.

I love the book of Philippians in the New Testament. It’s probably the book that speaks to me daily better than any other writing. Paul is challenging the church body and leaders with every sentence. Toward the end he makes it clear, the past is not to be a dead weight on who you are.

Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. (Philippians 3:12-15 ESV)

I love the way The Message puts it:

I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward–to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.  (Philippians 3:12-14 MSG)

That’s the way I always want to be! “I’m off and running! I’m not turning back!”