One of the things I think paralyses us in our Christian life is when we stop looking forward to what God is doing and start looking over our shoulder.
It is nice to reminisce sometimes, a nostalgic moment can be pleasant, yet the truth although we can remember the past fondly, the past is not a location we can live in.
We are called to live in the present and to be architects of the future.
We are called to be people that follow where Christ is going, rather than settling where Christ has been.
I’d rather live where God IS working rather than where he HAS worked.
I want to be someone who relentlessly peruses Jesus, hungry to be where he is going, joining in where he is going.
The past, whether good or bad, can be used as a spur or launch pad into a different future, yet too often I feel that the past can imprison us and restrict us.
Nor do other peoples’ past experiences have to be millstones that we are forced to carry -how often is our predecessors’ memory is
used to beat us over the head? “The last vicar always….”
Yet God calls us to run our own race, without other people or the pasts debris clinging onto our coat-tails.
We are set free to move forward along the path that lies ahead and not that stretching out behind us.
When we think that past experiences cannot be bettered, that is debilitating, crushing potential and clipping the wings of future dreams.
Bad experiences have not laid the rail tracks for the rest of our life, although often this does feel to be true, for the Christian we know that “those who the Son sets free will be free indeed”, “forgetting what is past I press on towards to goal to win the prize for which Christ Jesus has called me” and that “in Christ we are new creations, the old has gone, the new has come”.
Our history (at the cross of Christ) does not have to dictate or lay the rail tracks for our future.
Let’s remember that God has not finished with any of us yet, whilst we have breath in our lungs we are available for his use.
C.S. Lewis once said “you are never too old to chase a new vision, or dream a new dream”.
So lets enjoy the past, but not let it hold us back, distract us from where God is calling us on to, or limit of vision and expectancy of the future.
I’ll close with some words in Habbakkuk… “Behold I am doing a new thing!” -lets pray we grasp this with open hands rather than leave our hands full of the baggage of yesterday.