Four times in recent days it has been impressed on me from various sources that we are to let go of the past, leave it behind, and press forward. Once was at the Women of Faith Conference in Atlanta, once was at church, once was through Turning Points Magazine's September issue, and once was through a Christian novel. To directly quote the novel, "The past is part of who we are. It formed us and shaped us and brought us to this place, but it does not define us. What defines us now, in this moment, is our relationship with God, our desire to serve Him and our pursuit of His will. We must let go of what was if we are going to embrace what is."1
I have to admit there are things in my past I am not proud of that have definitely shaped who I am today. God forgave me and put it behind Him the instant I asked His forgiveness. But I forgot that and took a long time to forgive myself.
After I have taken care of my past I can look toward the future. You know, the future isn't just about tomorrow or the next day or next month, or even a few years down the road. The future is also today.
Both of my sons will finish high school in the next four years. Not only will my sons be graduating, I will be too. I will be an empty-nester. And as a single mom the world will open up for me as well. My sons don't hold me back now, I am just focused mainly on my life with them. Soon however I will be thinking about my life without them. I have been thinking about that a lot lately. What will I do with my life? What will I become? Should I stay in the career I am in? I could do whatever I dream! Ummmm, what is it I dream of? I can move to a new home. I can stay where I am. If I am wise, I will begin making plans now. Today. Spiritually and physically. I can build a strong network of friends. I can build a strong network of professional contacts. I can begin preparing by taking classes or going back to school or by doing volunteer work.
Whatever I choose to do, the most important thing I can EVER do in my life is serve my Lord. Through witnessing. Through lifestyle. Through taking opportunities given to me by God. Isn't the ultimate goal of a Christian to live life through Christ? Paul says something to this effect in Philippians 3:13-15 (HCSB), "Brothers, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God's heavenly call in Christ Jesus. Therefore, all who are mature should think this way. And if you think differently about anything, God will reveal this to you also."
Pressing towards the mark....
1Running for Cover by Shirlee McCoy