Thank you, Lord, for my lesson today! I want to get this wrote while the lesson is so fresh, as I am sure I will need to reflect back on this. Today, like for the past 3 years, I dropped Samuel off at school. He went in pretty smoothly (much different than Kindergarten and other intermittent times in the past two years). But I was able to catch a glimpse today that I probably have seen before, but today it registered. As I was shutting Samuel’s car door and he was walking down the hallway (at a pretty good pace), I noticed that he kept pausing to look back. Looking back to see if I was still there, and I knew that if I didn’t get going quickly he would be running back to the car. How many times am I like that — I keep looking back. I look back at past failures, look back at mistakes, look back and think “what if”. Always looking back – I need to prepare to LOOK FORWARD!!!
If I choose to look back, I need to focus on my successes – nursing degree, marriage to an incredible husband, accomplishments at my jobs, friendships established, memories of loved ones, etc.. BUT what do I focus on – failures! * my weight gain and my weight loss failures (instead of the pounds I have lost) * financial decisions (instead of the great jobs I have) * lack of an organized home (instead of the roof over my head) * child raising decisions (instead of the great children I have despite of them), etc… Everyday, I focus on my daily failures with my ever ending to-do list. I put too many things on the list and the next day I carry them over, day after day. Instead of looking back at what I accomplished and crossed off my list, I still see the list NOT done! This is a daily reminder because I always fill my to-do list with too many things and it is carried over day after day. I look back at what I didn’t finish every day.
One of the problems with always looking back is it slows me from reaching the next destination, the next goal. When you are trying to walk forward and keep looking over your shoulder, you can’t move as quickly. I also run the risk of running into something, an obstacle because I wasn’t watching and thinking about where I wanted to be. I can’t look forward if I keep looking back! The past isn’t going to change – it is engraved in stone. But the present and future is mine for the taking if I just focus on the end of the goal!
How many times have I told our children, I will be there? But then Samuel looks back and sees me leaving – a little mixed message. So I have had to explain in the past, that if you need me all they have to do is call, and thankfully it has never been an issue. Just like Samuel I also keep looking back to see if my Heavenly Father is still there. He says He will never leave or forsake me and though I can’t see Him all I have to do is call. I keep looking back to make sure He is still there. I am also guilty at relying on my own strength and then when it isn’t working out, I find myself either crying out to God in anger about how could He leave me (although He never did) or crying out to God praying please help me (when I should have asked so much sooner).
I need to prepare to LOOK FORWARD. Though reflecting on the past can make me thankful of how far I have come, it can also place me at risk for dwelling on failures. Today is a NEW day full of NEW possibilities. How will I change my perception??? I can * make my to-do list realistic so I am not always looking at a list of failure. At the end of the day consider what is not done and look at is a new list for the next day and not the list of failures. * create a vision of the finish line for areas of my life so I have something to look forward to * take a step forward toward the finish line – whether it is a BIG step of LITTLE step it is a step forward * refrain from looking back because it will only slow me down and bring down my mood, and * LIVE my faith by not looking back to seeing if Christ is there but LOOK FORWARD to the plans He has for my life and just trusting He is there.
You can clutch the past so tightly to your chest that it leaves your arms too full to embrace the present. ~Jan Glidewell
‘Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ Isaiah 41:10