WHAT HAVE I DONE WITH MY PAST?
Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you. Mark out a straight path for your feet; then stick to the path and stay straight. Proverbs 4:25
This is the question each of us has answered by our choice of actions. We’ve run from our past. We’ve hidden shameful memories. We’ve chosen to embrace only the good parts. Or perhaps we’ve come to idolize and rely upon our pedigree. These are but a few of the options made available to us and whatever evaluations we made, our past has been, and is, an issue. This verse from Proverbs is not an excuse to ignore what’s behind us and to give no thought to what’s shaped the person we’ve become.
Everything I am today is due to the choices and influences of long ago. It took the breadth of my past to craft my beliefs about myself, about marriage and family, about God, about matters of faith, and about how life works. My biases were born in the past. My deepest wounds were probably born there, too. To ignore my history turns me into a shallow person who functions on denial.
I’ve often thought, “What happened to me is over. I can’t change it. Why dwell on it? It’s painful.” That may be true but the future I create will only be as good as my ability to see my past through the redemptive threads of God’s grace. He wants to reveal my personal history from His vantage point so that I can see any assumptions I’ve made about life that are distorted. He also wants to heal what has emotionally disfigured my soul. I do not need to live plagued by the shadows of yesterday. I am being re-parented by God and I can anticipate a future worth living.
If I turn a blind eye to former things, the past will repeat itself. I know people who have encountered trouble, moved out of town to start fresh, only to experience the same thing happening again. They didn’t leave their history, they took it with them. I like this Katherine Porter quote. “The past is never where you think you left it.”
I want Your straight paths. Reveal anything crooked in my old paradigm. In Jesus’ name, Amen