Looking Back…Looking Forward
I went for a drive yesterday. In a melancholy mood, I had a desire to see the house where I grew up. I wanted to see the front yard where I learned to ride a bike and got going too fast and crashed. I wanted to see the split rail fence where I tried to pretend I was an Olympic gymnast and fell and hurt my shoulder, and nearly ruined my first solo performance in my ballet recital that year.
I wanted to trace the lane that looped my neighborhood where I trekked with my siblings on trick or treat nights. I wanted to visit where it dips downhill and one time a bigger kid on a bike ran over little ole me. What followed was my first experience in an emergency room and stitches. I could almost taste the sweat on my upper lip when I remembered how hot and humid and downright uncomfortable those masks were that we all wore. What did they make them out of anyway? It had to be something toxic.
I was disappointed when I couldn’t find our old house. I drove past where it was supposed to be twice, and it wasn’t there. Or maybe it was, but just remodeled so much I couldn’t recognize it. My dad built that house for his growing family in his mid-twenties. I was sad that it was just gone and would never be there for me to see again. Gone were the windows I watched my reflection in. The porch where I sat with my baby dolls. The back yard that held the big silver swing set, also built by my dad, that I fell off of and nearly bit my tongue clear through. The bedroom where I held my Bible and tears hit the cover and forever stained it, reminding me of the time I first trusted Christ. Gone, it was all gone.
“But as it is written, “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” 2 Corinthians 2:9
Why was I doing this? I kept thinking, ‘what if my car breaks down, how am I going to explain to people why I was where I was?’ I think God wanted me to remember some very important things from my past yet impress upon me just what is really THE most important thing to remember. He is preparing something very special for all of us who love Him. There is absolutely no comparison between what’s in our future and what might be in our past. My parents prepared things for me. They made sure I was cared for. They provided a home, complete with things to entertain me and give me a happy childhood, and I am so grateful.
Time that is spent is gone, there’s no getting it back.
“But as it is written, “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” 2 Corinthians 2:9. The scripture goes on to say that the deep things of God are revealed “through His Spirit.” Deep things. Forever things, unlike anything we have seen or thought of before.
We have to live in the present and keep looking forward to the future. History is just that, history. It is good to study and learn from it but we can’t go back there. Time that is spent is gone, there’s no getting it back. The regrets I carry are only redeemed when I remember the mistakes and purpose in my heart to not repeat them.
A little less melancholy, I headed back to my current “temporary” home. I thought about how the memories of places we’ve lived can make us want to go back to them. To re-live them somehow. Not that I really wanted to be that young girl again, but I longed for a simpler time when the worries and cares of my today didn’t exist.
Just like the sunrise heralds the promise of a new day, we can look forward to a new opportunity to give God glory and praise. And look forward to the promise of what He has already prepared for you in that day. Go ahead and say “Good Morning” and mean it.
Whether your childhood memories are good or bad, it really doesn’t have to affect your hope in the future. Right now, God is preparing something so amazing for us, far above any of our greatest imaginings. If we could see it, we wouldn’t really need faith. Remember “…hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees?” Romans 8:23. It is our faith that will keep us balanced as we keep our eyes fixed on Him, “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith…” Hebrews 12:2.
There just aren’t any earthly homes as perfect as the place where God dwells. As our Savior, He dwells in you and me. “Jesus answered and said to him, If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.” John 14:23. And the plus is, He is preparing another place for us. That is enough to keep me looking forward. Join me?