Have you ever wished you could rip the “rear-view-mirror” off of your memories? Do you have things in your past that you would rather forget, but can’t? If you do, welcome to the club, because most of us have nagging memories of our past that we wish that we could forget, but have trouble forgetting. Those memories are like boat-anchors, except that some of them could anchor an aircraft carrier. They are HUGE boat-anchors, boat-anchors that we need to leave behind. We need to cut the chain and remove that “rear-view-mirror“.
The Apostle Paul had a past, and not a past to be proud of. Yes, he was a Pharisee, but he was also a murderer. Before Christ confronted him on the road to Damascus, Paul had persecuted Christians ruthlessly. Yes, Paul DID have a past, but he also had a future.
12 Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. 13 Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:12-14)
We can almost see Paul cutting that anchor-chain and putting his throttle on “full-speed-ahead“. He wasn’t denying that he had a past, a very ugly past, but he was cutting his ties to his past so that he could move forward with the mission God had given him to do.
Paul also ripped off the “rear-view-mirror” so that his past wasn’t constantly nagging him. It would have been hard for him to focus on his mission if he had always kept one eye on that “mirror“. That “mirror” demands attention, which means that a person can’t concentrate on what they are doing.
I have a past…
I have a past, and part of it is quite ugly. I wish that I could just purge those memories from my data-banks, but I can’t. What I can do is unchain myself from my past, and no longer allow my past to control my present and my future. While I can’t completely rip off that “rear-view-mirror“, I can cloud the part of it that is looking at those ugly parts of my life. I still have some wonderful memories from my past, and they are part of me even today. Those are memories that I will always cherish. I am still a work in progress, and that work won’t be complete until I take my last breathe, but I want to press ever forward. God has a mission for me, and I want my throttle to be on “full-speed-ahead“.
Do you have a past?
Are there things in your life that you would like to forget? Are there anchor-chains that you need to cut? Do you need to rip your “rear-view-mirror” off? If so, I invite you to follow Paul’s example, and “forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Will you join me in this quest?
It is impossible to be fully-present when you are chained to your past!