I noticed her trudging through the parking lot, hopping up and down over the grassy medians as she tried to avoid the deluge of cars meandering alongside her.
We don’t live in a large town, so the sight of a young woman carrying a backpack half her weight and three-fourths as tall as she was was peculiar. All she possessed or wanted was snuggled uncomfortably on her back. Curiosity made me wonder…Who is she? Where is she headed and why? Is she a criminal running from the authorities or a runaway with parents worrying themselves sick? Is she escaping a bad relationship or undecided about who she is and what her future holds and on a journey to find the answers to both?
Of all I didn’t know, one thing was certain. She would never reach her goal if she returned to wherever or whatever she was leaving. Nor will we. Paul understood this. “No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead” (Philippians 3:13-14 NLT).
Focusing on undesirable events in our pasts hinders forward progress by dividing our minds. God desires to share his future for us with us, but continually wallowing in regret over past mistakes and sins he’s already forgiven prevents us from hearing him clearly. Conquering undesirable pasts entails focusing on what’s ahead not what lies behind. Regret drains the energy required to forge ahead into God’s future. Believing God has forgiven our past revitalizes us and gives the optimism necessary to see what we haven’t yet experienced. Ask God to keep you focused forward.
Prayer: God of mercy, keep us moving toward Your future as we remember that what’s behind is covered by Your grace and forgiveness.