As we start off 2024, we have two options.
Our first option is to look back...reminisce about the things that have passed.
Our past failures, missed opportunities, and past successes.
Our second option is to look forward...new adventures, new opportunities, new chances.
Many may argue that we should put the past behind us...look toward the future.
Others might argue that it is when we look to the past, that we discover the mistakes and successes that we have learned by, built our lives upon, and grown our beliefs upon.
I think a healthy balance of both is necessary.
We should look forward...dream new dreams, make new plans, grab new opportunities, and go on adventures of a lifetime.
However, we should never lose focus on what; or who, made us who we are today. What lessons we have learned along the way, and what mistakes we have made that we will never make again.
Many times, we struggle with a tragedy or illness in our lives...and we look to God for a quick miracle or healing...and we wonder where He is. Why is He taking so long to answer our prayers?
However, when the tragedy or illness has passed, it is when we look back that we realize that God was there the entire time. Often, we must travel the road that God has chosen for us before we can see that He was the guiding force that kept us going.
Although it is not always fun to remember our failures, they too are an important part of who we are. It is by looking into the past that we can see our mistakes more clearly and it is when we recognize those mistakes...that we can begin to change.
Winston Churchill said it best when he said "Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it."
Although we learn a lot by looking into the rearview mirror (our past,) we cannot allow ourselves to be stuck in the past.
If we spend too much time concentrating on what is behind us, we will miss all the things that are ahead.
When we look forward...we see opportunity, direction, adventure...all the beautiful things that God has waiting ahead.
"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." Philippians 3:13-14
"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11
Don't get stuck in the past:
The windshield measures approximately 50" X 30"...prefect for viewing what lies ahead. The rear view mirror measures approximately 10" X 3"...a perfect reminder to spend only enough time looking into the past (behind you) to gather the information that you need to continue traveling (safely) forward.
We should not live in regret from past actions. We must give ourselves grace, look ahead and know that we are not traveling alone. God sees...God loves...God knows!
I hope you each have a wonderful 2024 full of new adventures, new opportunities, new chances and a good balance of front porch ponderings!
I have prayed for each of you today! Look forward and know that you are not traveling alone. Learn from the past...look towards the future!
Have a blessed day!