Sunday, June 5, 2011

Letting go of the Past

Growing up hasn't come naturally to me. I'd say it's happened more by accident than planning. When I found out I was pregnant with K, I was not ready to grow up and leave the fun/irresponsibility of youth behind. But when you choose to have children, you choose to die to self. I think this was the first step in becoming a Christian. Learning to live for someone other than myself.


But the past is a funny thing. It has a way of sneaking up unexpectedly, maybe a smell triggers a memory, a song, a restaurant. And when it does, the feelings, the hurts, the excitement, it can almost feel tangible.


As a Christian, I know that my somewhat "colorful" past is something God can use to reach others, but more importantly, I know He wants me to be able to let go of it and fully move on past it.


There are times that my current life doesn't "feel" fulfilling enough. I go through cycles of happiness, satisfaction, regret, and acceptance semi-frequently. There are times I look back and think, I wish I could do things a little differently. Or, I wish I could go back and more fully enjoy my youth instead of taking it for granted.


But Jesus tells us  No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”  (Luke 9:62)


God knows that looking behind us keeps us from looking ahead, from looking to His eternal plan for us.


Whenever I begin looking backwards, inevitably dissatisfaction quickly follows. I forget that God is the only one who can really fulfill me. Nothing and No One in my past is going to satisfy me or heal me or treasure me like God can in the Present.


I couldn't sum up any better than Paul did: "Not that I have already obtained all of this... but one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead." (Philippians 3:12)

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