October 20, 2008
I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead. I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. Philipians 3:13-14 (NLT)
Most of us are reminded of the past from time to time. Recently I have been thinking about my past, and how I want my future to be more meaningful than the days that are stored in my memory. Life hasn’t been easy for any of us, so I am hoping you can relate when I say that life has not been easy for me. I love the wisdom I’ve gained along life’s journey, but somehow life has not become any simpler with age.
Letting go of my hurtful past has not been easy. I don’t want to return to it, but sometimes I have to deal with the past. I cannot erase it or change it. All I can do is to forgive others, myself, and to remove myself from painful situations I cannot control. I have to remind myself that I am not alone, and that the Lord is with me. As I press on for the future, I know that I cannot carry with me the weight of the past. It took me a long time to forgive. I thought forgiveness would end the sorrow, but it didn’t. If I look at the past, I find that the sorrow is alive. Sorrow can hold a person back, and I want to move forward. I have to let go of the past if I want to finish my race. We can forgive others, but relationships are two-way streets. We aren’t always accepted or loved, no matter how much we forgive or no matter how much we want to be close to someone we love.
So I press on to what lies ahead and to be in the place where the Lord is calling me, calling me so that I may receive His prize. Jesus understands what it means to love but to be rejected in return. He pressed on, in spite of the mockery and hatred that followed Him, to the cross. As God’s children, we are expected to look toward the heavenly prize as we participate in life’s race. Our Father will take care of the past and its concerns. God calls us all to find the purpose in the next leg of our race.
Help me look ahead, dear Lord. Help me look toward You.
Have you read With Great Mercy?