Boy, were we afraid of those nuns. They used to tell us that our parents signed a paper that gave them permission to hit us if we were bad. I don’t know if it was true or not but every once in a while we would get a whack from a ruler and we sure didn’t run to our parents crying because we probably would have gotten another one when we got home. Ahh… the good old days!
How was I, just a mere child with raw knuckles, to know back then that those nuns were, probably unknowingly, giving me some pretty good life advice?
Why was it those nuns were so interested in me looking forward?
Probably because all of the important stuff was going on in front of me – in the front of the class – and if I was looking backwards I might have missed it.
I have found that this idea of keeping your eyes forward has come in very handy in many circumstances. It is definitely very important when driving a car. How can you successfully navigate traffic and not crash if your eyes are always in the rearview mirror looking at where you have been and what has already happened behind you instead of where you are going?
Life is no different.
How can you successfully navigate through life without keeping your eyes focused on what’s in front of you?
Too many people get stuck looking at the past. Too many people get stuck on what has happened and not on what is going to happen.
Some people live in the past either like the things that have happened to them are some badge of honor or falling back on the past to explain their inability to move forward today. But while they keep looking to the past, the present is flying by them like a high-speed train.
While looking to the past and reliving memories can be fun and enjoyable, being stuck in the past can be truly harmful.
Many people have had hard times and hurt in their past.
When people’s life experiences start to hinder them emotionally, sometimes others refer to this as someone having “baggage.” While I don’t particularly care for the idea of calling someone’s life experiences – good or bad – “baggage”, sometimes, those hurtful life experiences can weigh one down like they are carrying a heavy bag and hinder a person’s ability to live their life now.
Even in the Bible, David asks the following: “How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?” Psalm 13:2
In some cases, the negative past experiences build up like lint in a drier. Every time we dry something in the clothes drier a little bit of lint gets trapped in the filter. Eventually, after many cycles, the lint can build up to a level where the drier can’t function properly. In extreme cases, if we don’t work to clear out the lint, a destructive fire could start. We need to clean out the lint filter of our lives before we get to the point that the fire ignites.
I am not saying we should ignore the past; however, we should try to learn from it and use it to move forward successfully in our lives.
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:18-19
Sometimes I like to think of the past as if it were like that nun from grammar school – just waiting with a ruler to whack me on the knuckles again… “Eyes forward Mr. Laydon”…
Share with us: Is there something in your past holding you back or have you overcome something in your past that was holding you back?