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Friday, November 14, 2008

Are you trying to drive using only the rearview mirror?

I know you've never tried this, but have you ever tried to drive your car by only looking in the rear view mirror? (Don't worry honey, I only do this when you're asleep in the car.) It is not only difficult, it is impossible. While you can see everything behind you and everywhere you've been, you cannot see what's right in front of you or what's coming your way down the road.

Unfortunately, I think a lot of people live their lives in just this way. They are so focused on the past; its pains as well as its victories, that they can't seem to navigate the present and therefore have no hope of a successful future. They continue to look back... oh, the good old days. Or, they can't seem to get over the hurts inflicted on them in the past. But little do they realize that by their continual focus on past hurts they continue to open those same wounds each time they look back.

It's not a new problem by any means, in fact it is very much a part of human nature for many people. Remember Lot's wife in Genesis 19? Sodom and Gomorrah were being destroyed and all she could focus on was what she was losing instead of what lied ahead... and she did it, she looked back... Well, you know the rest of the story, she became a pillar of salt. (Gen. 19:26, NIV). Lot's wife was trying to move forward by looking in the rear view mirror. Now, there's more to the story, but you get the idea.

What about you? Are you trying to move forward by keeping your eyes in the rear view mirror? Maybe you are a split vision kind of person, looking to the future with one eye but always looking to the past with the other (which by the way is just as counterproductive). That rear view mirror is important and the lessons we learn from our past should help us through the present and on into the future. But by comparison, the rear view mirror is tiny in contrast the the front windshield (hmmm, interesting how they designed it that way, huh?). Could it be that God has designed our lives the same way? The window to the past is very small in comparison to the huge view God presents us with as we move through the present into the future. And even if the present and future are a little foggy right now, they are still the only things that hold any potential for success. We can never relive the past, good or bad, no matter what we do.

Use that rear view mirror for what is was designed for, but don't keeping looking at it as you try to move forward. The view in front of you is incredible and the opportunities that await you are beyond imagination. But you can't look back and look forward simultaneously. I challenge you to look forward. It doesn't even have to make sense or be clear, it is still a better view than the one in the rear view mirror.

Just think about it...

Lead Strong,
Shawn

1 comment:

they keep me laughing said...

encouraging words. i think people often tend to focus too much on the past, and it's so true - if you're always looking in the past, you're only re-opening old wounds. thank you for that blog. it's always good to be reminded not to focus on the negative and all the shoulda-woulda-coulda's. can't do anything about them now but to learn from them.

my word verification is "repinso". i'd like to image that maybe it's a fancy way of saying "repent" in another language. :)