Thursday, 10 January 2013

Are You Looking in Your Rearview Mirror?

Phil Tuttle, President of Walk Thru the Bible posted a recent blog that I believe can be applied to marriage as well as other facets of life.  He said,

"There's a reason a car's windshield is way bigger than its rearview mirror."

That's how my Dad used to make the point that we ought to spend much more time looking forward than backward. The Apostle Paul shared the same wisdom centuries earlier in Philippians 3:13-14:

"Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."

It sounds so easy when we read it in the Bible, but it's way more difficult to think that way in real life.

From a Biblical perspective there was certainly one major icon who could have ridden down the road of life gazing in the rearview mirror, and that would have been Joseph.

Yet Scripture records no such obsession with the past. Instead of trying to right the wrongs of his brothers' betrayal, or Mrs. Potiphar's false accusation, or his unjust imprisonment, Joseph seems to have leaned into the future. He constantly embraced each new opportunity as God's calling for his life.

Compared to the insanity of Joseph's life, most of our situations don't seem so out of control after all. And so, inspired by his example, I've decided to waste less time this year reminiscing in my rearview mirror, and invest more time embracing the God-ordained future I see through my windshield.

Phil offers sage advice.  The key however to embracing the future in a way that is helpful is to “embrace God’s ordained future.”  This recognizes that (a) God is in control of all things, even the mundane, miniscule moments of our lives and (b) He always knows what is best for us even though it might not be what we would have in mind.

We recently received a Christmas card from one of my wife’s oldest friends.  This past year brought problems of varying degrees with each of the couple’s children.  The friend wrote that she certainly hoped that she learned whatever lessons God was trying to teach her last year because she doesn’t want to have to learn them again.  Amen!

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