Last night I was manning my post behind the cash register at work when the floor supervisor’s teenage son came into the store with a group of his friends. Laughing and all talking at once, they soon surrounded her and she was momentarily caught up in their happy togetherness. She listened and joked and hugged her son tightly before the group moved en masse to the exit doors. And I suddenly choked up unexpectedly as I revisited the yesterdays in my own life and the times one or more of my three boys and their buddies would stop in at the store… the moments of joy in which I’d be just as enveloped in their laughter and love of life as she was that evening.
I loved that moment of looking back, but I knew better than to stay there too long. Longing for and living in the past are traps that can rob us of present happiness and future joy. Resolutely I pulled my thoughts away from the pictures in my mind and focused it on where my sons are today. Quickly gratitude again filled my heart as I reflected on the good places they’re at in their lives and their relationships. Soon I was smiling again at things they’d said to me in recent days and looking forward almost as excitedly as they at the new places they’re headed, physically, spiritually and emotionally. I simply can’t wait to see where God’s taking them next.
Soon I was reflecting on my passion for journaling my own encounters with God and my habit of looking back occasionally to see what was going on in my relationship with Him at earlier moments in time. While I think it’s important to do that occasionally, I likewise know better than to stay there too long. There is so much more that God is longing to do in me, for me, and with me. I can’t spend too much time looking back or I’ll never get to where He longs to take me next.
I smile when I remember that my husband and I have each had a couple of minor incidents lately in our cars, all of which happened when we were headed in reverse. We laugh now about the fact that for whatever reason we can no longer go backwards! So as April ends and May looms just around the bend, I plan to travel through all aspects of my life the way we’ve resolved to drive our cars… face forward and full speed ahead!
“…Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
(Philippians 3:13-14 NIV)