Meridian Star

Columns

January 10, 2014

Looking back

MERIDIAN — There is a movie scene where a little girl with owl-eyed glasses is peering through the rear window of the family car, as she and her mother drive down the street. The rear window frames a pretty two- story house that held memories of Christmases and birthdays and fun-times with Dad. It was once a place familiar and safe, until Dad walked away. Now mother and child are headed for unfamiliar spaces.

    “Turn around, Sweet Heart,” says Mom. “Don’t look back.”  But even as Mom speaks, her own eyes focus on the rear-view mirror; the house grows smaller and disappears. --Hope Floats

    Sometimes I’m that little girl, looking wistfully through the rear window, longing to go back to what was familiar and comfortable. And so often, I’ve wished I could travel back in time and change some choices I made. I’ve thought: “If only I had…” I wish I had not… Why did I say that? Why didn’t I know better?”

    However, I know that looking back is usually a waste of time. The past is gone, and the best thing for me to do is to pick up the lessons I’ve learned and turn toward the road ahead.

    Today there is a clean slate before me and an unmarked calendar. Now I know that a new calendar doesn’t mean that all problems will disappear and everything will be great. However, it does mean that there are new possibilities. Who knows what could happen if I work toward new goals, send up more prayers, exercise faith and patience, and try to make a difference in my little world?

    Although I am excited about the future, I know that I can’t fall back on the attitude of “whatever will be, will be,” or the expectation that blessings will overwhelm me each day with no effort on my part. I must climb out from under the cozy covers each morning, put my feet on a cold floor, and move forward.

    There is one thing I can predict. I will have to contend with reoccurring thoughts, such as: “You’re too old now… You can’t do that… You’ve failed so many times… You know that prayer will never be answered!”

    As those thoughts continue to fight for space in my head, I’ll have to vigilantly guard my mind, by deleting and replacing. Therefore, as I step into each new day of this new year, I must encourage myself with words from my Bible and quotes from my journal:

    “It’s always too early to quit.” –Norman Vincent Peale.

    “The door to the past has been shut and the key thrown away. Tomorrow is determined by what you do today. So make today a masterpiece” –John Wooden, Hall of Fame Basketball Coach

    “I will reach up as far as I can and God will reach down the rest of the way.” –Guideposts

    “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal …..” (Philippians 3:13).

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