I was talking to my wife the other day and I found myself frustrated. I wasn’t frustrated with her, but rather I was frustrated with myself. We were talking about some things that “used to be” in my life. It’s been a consistent conversation for the past few months. During our latest conversation, several times I caught myself saying, “If I could just get back to where I used to be then …”
I left the house that day frustrated and unhappy. While I drove to the office I started to pray. While praying, I felt like God revealed something to me: If I keep trying to get back to where I used to be, I will never move forward to where I could be. It may only seem like semantics to you, but it was truly a revelation to me.
The past is a funny thing. It has a subtle way of keeping me trapped. I can reflect on it and celebrate what God has done, but if I think about it too much, it slowly begins to wrap its warm embrace around me and does not let me go.
The past can keep us trapped in our hurts and our failures, but surprisingly, it can also keep us trapped in our success and victories. The more I focus on the past, the more steps I will take in that direction and the less steps I will take forward toward the future God has in store. So, instead of trying to get back to where I used to be, the mindset I've adopted now is to take an honest look at where I am and then, with God’s help, take steps forward toward the new that God can do.
“Forget the things that happened in the past. Do not keep on thinking about them. I am about to do something new. It is beginning to happen even now. Don't you see it coming? I am going to make a way for you to go through the desert. I will make streams of water in the dry and empty land.”
Isaiah 43:19 NIRV