Often times when we think of living life, we think running a race. We see ourselves at the start line and we hear the “POP” and hear the famous “…And their OFF..!!” I am not here to say that at times this isn’t true! I will be honest and admit that I often think of this picture! I want to clarify before everyone goes “off” on me wither it be because your a runner, or because you can quote scriptures out of the Bible about pressing onward to the prize.. etc. I am NOT saying that this is wrong. I love the idea and picture usage. Yet, I also think that there is something to say for a different picture.
Imagine yourself on a rowing team. Your in the boat and you begin to stroke so there is movement and you begin to take off! When you row you face the direction that appears to be behind you. The area you already came from. You can’t see what ahead of you. All you are looking at is the focal point in front of you which again is really behind you. Knowing that if you stop to look at one side of the other attempting to look at what is coming you will take the whole boat into a different direction. Getting your team off course. Not mention if you look back you can stroke properly therefore causing others to pick up your slack.
Now I want you to change the situation a little bit. Imagine being in a row boat by yourself, you are in a body of water. Lets just call this “time” As you are rowing down the river of time.. you are are facing what appears to be the past. I know what your thinking here.. “Shay, we don’t let our past dictate us.” I would agree but let me explain before you get your panties in a wad!
You are in the boat, paddling ahead. all you can see is where you have come from. You can’t see what is ahead of you. You have the urge to look behind you to see what is coming.. starting to look over your shoulder you feel the boat begin to veer slowly into the wrong direction. You quickly look forward. Facing all the you have come through, you must find a focal point to get you back on track and keep you on track. This is the part where you want to remember the past. What is your focal point you ask? God’s faithfulness, the times He has kept you. The times He lead you. We have become such a don’t let the past dictate your future generation that often time I talk to people and they can’t even remember the good things that happened in their “past.” We are so quick to throw the baby out with the bath water.
I believe that this is applicable to my life. Often I find myself trying to figure out the “future”. Wanting to know so that I can prepare. Wanting to know so that I feel like I have some sense of control. It is the times that I begin to look over my shoulder that I usually tend to get off track. I have to keep paddling and remember all that has got me to where I am. I can’t tell the future. I can’t see what is down the river. All I can do is paddle here and now. I have to relinquish my “control” and trust that my God will cover me. I know that God has great things for me. I believe that this is truth for us all. I can’t tell you how they are going to happen. I can’t tell you where these great things are going to take me. I can’t tell you what life holds. I can tell you that if you look back and recall the things that He has gotten you through. The times He gave you peace. The times where God showed up in your life. The times He meet you in the dark hours of life. Those are are the times that become your focal point to allow you to trust that He created the river you are rowing in.
I pray that today you will not forget what God has brought you through. He has kept you. I pray that as you remember you will find worship coming out of your lips. I also pray that you would not react to the urge to look ahead. That you would relinquish control of your life and really surrender to trusting the One who created you!
Don’t look back..because really you are looking forward to control and make a way for yourself. Don’t veer off the path that He has for you!