“Brethen, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before.”–Philippians 3:13 KJV
“I know my review can’t compare to what God will do in my life.” –“Movin’ On” by Jonathan McReynolds
When driving, it’s imperative for your primary focus to be on what’s in front of you. However, you do look in the rearview mirror occasionally to see what’s behind you or even look to the side to ensure you can safely move over. If you focus too long on what’s behind you, though, you can swerve or drift off the path you’re on. Yes, the past teaches you something and can serve as a reminder of what you made it out of, but it’s not meant to keep you from achieving your dreams. It’s not meant to be an anchor keeping you grounded to one spot in life. It’s not meant as an excuse to not do what you should. Some people may allow where they grew up to keep them from acquiring more. They may develop the mentality of since they grew up a certain way, that’s all they should have. Some may let every bad romantic relationship keep them from giving a potentially good one a shot because they start to expect relationships to not work out. Some may even let the mistakes they made in the past prevent them from attaining good things or their goals in the future. Who we used to be is not who we presently are. Thus, what we did before or experienced back then does not determine how our future can or will be. And honestly, we all fall short sometimes. We all may fail at some point, but it’s important to get back up and keep going. Without a past or struggles, you cannot really appreciate the final destination or where God has brought you to.
Now looking at Jonathan McReynolds’ words again: “I know my review can’t compare to what God will do in my life.” Sometimes we have to look back to remember how far we’ve come, to know where we don’t want to go back to, and to appreciate where we presently are in life. But the good thing is that God can and will do even greater for us. These words assure us that our suffering, pain, heartbreak, disappointment, frustration, confusion, and waiting will be worth it in time. We have hope that better is on its way. We have incentive to move forward toward the blessings before us. We have instructions to reach forward for the things that are in front of us as Philippians 3:13 advises. Honestly, this idea of moving forward has crept up a lot lately. Admittedly, I’ve kept looking at the past and expected the let downs from before to happen again. Have you ever been there: projecting what others did to you on those currently in your life? Or have you just anticipated the worst because it’s happened over and over and over again? But if you keep expecting it, then you run the risk of missing out on the blessing that God’s sent you. It’s crucial to move on from those past hurts and enjoy the new season you’re entering. I know God can help us to do that. So, I encourage you to pray for strength to get over those things that are trying to keep you from moving forward in life. Whatever it is, whether you need strength, a forgiving heart, or peace, you can ask God for it; His word affirms it: “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you” (Matthew 7:7 KJV).
(The following poem is to reiterate the importance of moving forward.)
I cannot deny that it happened:
I experienced pain. I’ve failed before. I’ve made mistakes.
But those things are not apart of my name.
Yeah, it’s a part of my story,
But it’s not the moral of my existence.
It doesn’t define me or who I’ll eventually be.
It’s important to see it from a distance:
To remember where I came from,
Who I used to be,
But don’t get it twisted, it’s not me.
Now I see, that those things were necessary for me to be who I’m meant to be.
The past God’s brought me through
Can’t compare to what He’s taking me to.
As I drive, I check that review from time to time,
But there’s a reason why the windshield is so magnified.
More to look for in front of me
While letting go of what’s behind.
If I stay focused too long on those things behind me,
I could veer off track and delay my destiny.
If nothing else, I know that God is in control.
He wants me to move on, but I’ve got to let some stuff go
And make room for what God wants to do.
Some things are just beyond your control.
Some things just won’t make sense.
Some things will rock your faith.
Still don’t stay in that same place.
Cling to God’s unchanging hand, even in the midst of the unexplainable circumstances
And trust in His plan.
Trust me, I understand how easy it is to focus on the past,
Thinking that it could come back again.
I know how it feels to make my own plan
And get frustrated when life spins out a different web.
I get letting go of expectation because of persistent disappointment.
But I choose to stand on His promises.
I know that better lies ahead.
God’s advised us to move forward instead of looking back.
So, what will you choose?
Will you move forward, too?