“Don’t look back. Something might be gaining on you.”- Satchel Paige
“Love is not an affectionate feeling, but a steady wish for the other person’s ultimate good as far as it can be obtained.”- C. S. Lewis, God in the Dock
At the beginning of Chapter 15 (“Don’t Look Back: You Can’t Drive Forward by Looking in the Rearview Mirror”) of Wounded by God’s People, Anne Graham Lotz asks us if our vision of the future has been blurred by past unrealized expectations. If we’re looking back, she adds, we can’t see to go forward. In the process of looking back, we may destroy our future- or at the very least, stumble.
Forgiveness sets us free to move into the future. Forgiveness is a gift to ourselves, since our decision to forgive those who wounded us may have no impact at all on our wounders. Our ministry downsizing or vocation loss is not the end of everything. Although we all had our conceptions of how our ministry or vocation would develop, the end of our vision is the beginning of our future. Like Hagar, we need to embrace the future God has for us, even though it likely will be vastly different from what we imagined.
Forgiveness, like love, is a choice. Anne emphasizes that forgiveness is an intellectual choice we’re commanded to make. We can’t obey that command if we base forgiveness on our feelings or emotions, since we can’ always control our emotions. In grateful thanksgiving for God’s forgiveness, we choose to forgive others.
Today’s question: How have you been intentional in moving forward rather than looking back? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: the annotated bibliography of Wounded by God’s People
Coming Monday: the new Short Meditation, “Heart and Soul”