Our focus will determine the direction of the heading. We can't continue to look at what was or what could have been, and expect to get anywhere. If the attention is on something that's from the past - it's easy to come to a stalemate. Living in the yesteryears only keeps us IN the past. Paul wrote in Philippians 3:12-14 (NKJ)"Not that I have already attained or am already perfected; but I press on that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 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, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." One can't run a race and reach the intended goal looking behind to where he's been.
Past hurts, failures, or even past successes can keep us bogged down and unable to move forward. No matter how much we think, about what was or what could have been, it won't change anything in the now or the future. The gift of 'today' should be enjoyed today, and the mystery of tomorrow to be prayerfully anticipated.
I realize we can learn from our past. But that doesn't mean we have to keep focused on it. Log it, learn from it and move forward. Don't camp out there. I also know there are good memories from our past that touch our heart and bring smiles, maybe even tears. However, I am aware that it's easy to remain mentally locked on a memory of a situation or person that can cause us to exist in the realm of the coulda, shoulda, and woulda's. This can be a detriment to advancing. It can cause us to take the regard that the past situation or people, were more important than the ones in our life now. Because all we think or talk about is that previous event or person, therefore, other's in our life, feel less significant.
As many of you, we have encountered some very hurtful situations over the years. But the one thing we've learned is forgiveness is crucial to moving on. And with that forgiveness, comes leaving the pain and the embarrassment behind, never to reminisce. Yet understanding we must guard our hearts and continue to walk in God's love.
We've also made some wrong decisions. It's easy to look back and say, 'sure wish we would have done that, instead of this'. That's where we come to realize that the path we went down, has brought us to the place we are now. And although other choices may have been better, we must rejoice in the Lord for His 'working everything out conforming it to His will. (Eph. 1:11) & (Rom. 8:28)
There have also been some very wonderful people in our life that are now walking with the Lord. And although we remember them with great fondness, we've discovered that the memory of their life continues to bring us joy. But we decide to focus on those living around us, whose lives are impacting us and affected by us while we still can.
This is where we must decide to allow the past to be the past and put our attention on the here and now. Why? Because God has a plan, a purpose for us. There are people we must minister to and lives we must touch. Keeping the perspective of the past will allow us "to press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."
Pastors Michael & Ginny Gulotta
Pro. 11:25 "The generous soul will be made rich, And he who waters will also be watered himself."