Look back but don’t stare.
This is an expression I heard a long time ago and the older I get the more I understand it.
Recently I had one of those days where my mind went on a trip down memory lane. I wish that I could say it was a pleasant trip. It wasn’t. Frank Sinatra used to sing – “Regrets. I’ve made a few. But then again too few to mention.” I can mention more then a few – I should have stayed in college, I should have studied more, I should have saved more money, I should have exercised more self control, I should have done this and not done that. Regrets, I think, are a way we say sorry to ourselves. When I look back, excuse me, when I stare back at the road I traveled I don’t want to say “Sorry” to me – I want to punch myself.
But I don’t.
The reason that I don’t punch myself is that, well, it wouldn’t change anything and more importantly, I have been forgiven by God for my past. If God has forgiven me than who am I to not forgive myself? It is hard though. The affects of poor judgement and bad behavior can be irreversible. Life does go on. Life will be different but it does go on.
Moving on can be tough. The people around us may never forget the harm we have done and may even remind us of just how far we fell. We fell. But we got up. Isn’t that what really matters?
The Word says –
Rejoice not against me, oh my enemies, for when I fall I shall arise. When i sit in darkness the Lord shall be a light unto me. Micah 7:8 KJV
When I fall I shall arise. I will not stay down. I will not beat myself up. I will not stare back in anger and regret. The past is not only the past but it has been forgiven and forgotten and thrown in a sea of forgetfulness never to be brought up to me again. At least not by God. One of the names of the devil is the accuser of the brethren (Rev. 12:10 KJV). He will remind us and use others to remind us.
Another old expression suitable for this topic is – “The next time the devil reminds you of your past just remind him of his future!”
I started this post by telling you how I spent a sad day staring regretfully back at my past. So I am not trying to over simplify putting the past behind us. My goal was, however, to remind myself and those of you that this may apply to, that we have every good reason to stand tall with our heads up as we walk confidently into our tomorrows. If Jesus is our Lord – We are children of the King. Forgiven. Loved. Saved. A new creation. Heaven-bound. No matter what was it’s what will be that’s important.
Thanks for letting me share that even if I was the only one that needed to hear it.
Be Blessed, Al
Similar post on forgiveness – But If You Don’t Forgive