Looking Behind

My husband and I have done quite a bit of traveling around this great country of ours and seen some beautiful vistas.  We don’t like the hassle of flying so do most of our traveling by vehicle.  Sometimes I get to daydreaming as we’re driving down the road and my husband will say, “Did you see that?”  By the time I look, whatever it was is behind us.  So I turn to see what I missed and realize that I just missed seeing what was ahead of us.

The Israelites had that problem when Moses led them out of Egypt.  You can read about it in Exodus.  They had been slaves all their lives and didn’t know anything else.  It wasn’t long after leaving Egypt they started looking behind them and thinking it would be better to go back than toward the promise of freedom.  They never could get past that and that generation never did make it to the promised land.

Whenever I’d read Exodus I thought those people were crazy not believing God would deliver.  He was present in the pillar of fire by night and the cloud by day.  But I realized we’re no different.  It is so easy to miss out on what’s ahead by continuing to look behind.  We have friends that moved here from another state.  They had some trouble finding jobs and a lot of times they mentioned that they had it pretty good before they moved.  But, really, if it was so good back there why did they move in the first place?  What blessings did they miss out on because they were always looking back?

It’s not always wrong to look back but only for the right reasons – to learn from our mistakes.  But it’s never good to stay there.  In Philippians 3 Paul writes about looking back.  He says he was perfect in the eyes of the world/religious leaders.  But then Christ got ahold of him and changed his whole life.  Paul writes in Philippians 3:13-14,”But one thing I do:  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.”

We can’t keep looking behind us because we miss so much that is ahead of us.  What a waste of God’s blessings.  And, really, can we change what’s already in the past?  Absolutely nothing that’s past can be changed now.  So let’s look with anticipation for what’s ahead of us, not at what we “may” have missed.

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