Wednesday, February 23, 2005
Looking in the Rearview Mirror
I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. - Philippians 3:14 nkjv
I needed to drive to a meeting. The drive takes about forty minutes, most of which is on the interstate. Since I don’t drive on the highway frequently, before backing out of the garage, I strapped my seatbelt, adjusted my mirrors, checked my directions, and prayed. In fact, I prayed for almost forty minutes!
As I whizzed down the road at sixty, okay seventy, miles per hour, I thought about how often I looked in the rear-view mirror. Many years ago in driver’s education, my instructor told me to check my mirrors frequently while driving.
Looking back is advantageous at times. On the way home, I passed through downtown at rush hour, and I could keep my eye on the semis, aggressive drivers who rushed past me like I stood still, or the drivers distracted by cellphones.
In life, looking back can be an education. We learn what not to do by examining our mistakes. But bad memories can hinder us from living in the present. We must not dwell on past mistakes, but learn from them and move on.
We can also reminisce with our positive memories thanking God for His blessings. We never want to forget the goodness of our Father. We sing a popular song at church that says, “Look what the Lord has done.” Even good memories can stifle our lives by causing us to wish things were ‘the way they used to be.’ God has done marvelous things in the past, and because He does not change, He does marvelous things today, too!
If I had spent the greater part of my time driving on the interstate looking in my rearview mirror, I’m sure I wouldn’t be here at all. To live life to its fullest, we cannot linger in the past. The apostle Paul put it this way. “Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead.” (Philippians 3:12-13 nkjv)
Maybe I wouldn’t check my mirrors so often if I drove the speed limit. Oh, me. Did I admit that?
Prayer: Lord, help me to trust You, to thank You for ‘this day,’ and to and to be present and ready to do Your will. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.