Do you Forget the Past and Reach for the Future?

By Sandra P. Aldrich

This one thing I do: forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forth unto those things which are ahead. Philippians 3:13

Do you dwell on long-ago events, sometimes with regret? Me, too. In fact, I have a yellowed Peanuts cartoon with which I identify. Charlie Brown is on the pitcher’s mound as Lucy hands him the ball.

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“Sorry I missed that easy fly ball, Manager,” she says. “I thought I had it, but suddenly I remembered all the others I’ve missed.”

As she turns away, she says, “The past got in my eyes.”

I understand. A while back, I was playing doubles tennis with a new partner, Iris. I missed a perfect forehand, then apologized profusely, embarrassed I had performed poorly.

I missed the next shot as well. Again, I apologized.

Iris said softly, “Play the next ball, Sandra.”

The next ball? Of course. I had been so intent on mentally replaying the previously missed shots that I missed the next ones—just like Lucy.

Unfortunately, I identify with the past getting in my eyes in more than just sports. But I’m learning. For me the first step is to ask the Lord to help me look at the event again, ask His forgiveness or someone else’s, if needed, and release the scene to Him—just as Philippians 3:13 directs:  “This one thing I do: forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forth unto those things which are ahead.”

The image of reaching forth carries hope and encouragement. Yes, freedom is ahead.

Lord, thank you for helping me stop dwelling on the past.

Sandra P. Aldrich is an award-winning author and international speaker. Click here to visit her website. 

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