The older I get the more time I spend thinking about the past. It's not like I'm infatuated with it or have a long list of regrets, after all, that is what has made me who I am today. Its more along the lines of what it........
What if I pursued a different career, or if we had more kids, or pursued an education at a different school. What would have really made a difference today and what would have made absolutely no difference. I suppose the thought that I am closer to my end than my beginning leaves me with a certain.... what could I have done better or changed or actually followed through on. As relatives age and you begin to realize that if they are that feeble and frail and they were old when I was young, what does that mean I look like to them? I can just hear the conversation after leaving their home, "my goodness hes gotten old, did you see all the white in his beard?" "Yes, and the lines in his face look like hes been wandering in the desert for 40 years." The funny thing is when we get together with people we haven't seen in a while we always rate their aging factor. We always take notice of how well they have aged or in some cases how poorly. In order to do that we have to take a look under what parameters we knew them from the past. We don't meet new people and instantly think how much older they appear than before, because we have no before to compare it to.
I recall when I was younger some of the stupid things I did and some of the good things I had done. I also think of the circumstances leading up to hearing the gospel and responding. Honestly one of the main things I look back, in the rear view, at is to wonder if I am really all that different now than I was then. That day is a day that sticks in mind, or a time period that does as my Spirit wrestled with my flesh. My pastor lived next door and that made me twice as anxious. I recall thinking that the world is an open book and that God can use me however He desires. Looking back I am not sure I was wise enough to understand what all that could mean. Dragging my family through multiple states, working long hours, being on call 24/7, being so far away from family that we hardly ever saw parents or other relatives. And yet in the quiet of my personal time recently, the flooding thought, "the windshield is always larger than the rear view mirror." By that I mean that regardless of what your history has been, regardless of where you have been, or who you were, there is a wide open road in front of you. You are who you have become because of the parenting, the influences and teachings you have had and the experiences. God has brought you to a place that sets you up to begin your journey looking forward. Don't panic you can still look in the rear view mirrors but your focus has got to be bigger and grander, towards the future yet to be discovered. A roller coaster ride of thrills and chills. Surprises and yet strangely very predictable.
As you read this, make it a priority to start using the windshield to discover many things that will be added to your history. At some point, Gods Son will come and gather us and those who have "fallen asleep" before us will be awakened and we will give account of our days. I would suppose we will look at the countless hours we've wasted or missed opportunities we let go by and feel remorse as never before. Yet we have an opportunity in what little time is left to make the most of it for Christ's sake. Don't spend your days looking back in sorrow for your youth, or full head of hair, best friend outings or anything else, look forward and see the splendor unfold before your very eyes.
Till next time, keep looking forward.