Have you ever noticed your windshield is bigger than your rearview mirror? There’s a reason for it. Many of us spend the majority of our lives looking back instead of looking ahead. It plays out in novels, movies, and television shows. Even sports enthusiast focus on the great plays of yesterday.
There is a time and place to glance in the past and remember. It was a practice of the Israelites to remember all God had done for them [Genesis 8:20, Genesis 12:7, Genesis 35:7, Judges, 6:24]. They demonstrated this by building altar’s to the Lord after He had done something great for them, so they could remember and tell their children about it, but they didn’t camp there.
It is great to gain strength from remembering the goodness of God, but we must fix our eyes forward. Let’s face it, if we drove our cars with our eyes fixed to the rearview mirror, we couldn’t get very far before we crashed, possibly injuring ourselves or someone else.
Lot and his wife left Sodom and Gomorrah because the Lord was about to destroy the cities. His wife was so concerned with what she was leaving, she looked back instead of forward and she paid for it with her life [Genesis 19:26]. Jesus was asking people to follow Him and one man said he would but first he needed to go back and take care of some things. Jesus’ reply was “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God” and then man was left behind [Luke 9:62].
Your past may be filled with great experiences or it may be a nightmare you’d just as soon forget. Either way, you need not focus on it. Your focus on it could cause you to miss opportunities right in front of you. It’s okay for a quick glance back, but keep your focus on what is before you. Paul said it best in Philippians 3:13-14 “Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. 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.” No matter where you are in life, in difficulty or in the greatest place every, we should turn our gaze forward and fix our eyes on Jesus. If life with Him is our goal, then He needs to be our focus, not our past. What are you looking at today?