Stop Looking Back

Getting ready to drive off in my wife's car the other day, I checked and adjusted her mirrors. I first adjusted the side mirrors and then finally the rearview mirror. And suddenly, it dawned on me. Ever notice how much smaller the rearview mirror is than the windshield? Of course I realize that this is not some startling new discovery. Anyone who drives knows that the rearview mirror is much, much smaller than the windshield for very obvious reasons.

But as I sat there before I drove off, I wondered just how fast and how far you could drive if the windshield was the size of the rearview mirror, and the rearview mirror was the size of the windshield! No, I am not losing my mind with a wild brainstorm idea for General Motors! I am trying to make a point. We all know that the reason the windshield is so much bigger is because the road ahead of us is so much more important than the road behind us. We need to see and focus clearly on as much of the road ahead as we can. This is so true in living life.

Where we are going in life is so much more important than where we have been. Yet far too many people are living in their past. They live day to day staring into their rearview mirror with all their focus and attention on what happened to them in the past, instead of looking forward to the future. People are living with regrets, guilt, shame, disappointments and discouragements resulting from things in their past. Many people go around feeling sorry for themselves.

Some are living with anger or seek revenge from being hurt. Regardless of what has happened or how they feel, they all have one thing in common: they are all starring into their rearview mirror. What is there in your past that you can change? Absolutely nothing. What great profit is it to spend your time and mental focus on the past? There is none. Even if there were some really fantastic things in your past, they are all still in the past.

Some people are still trying to live back in the "good ol' days," back when their lives were so much better. They think about it and relive a happier time without all the stress or hardships that they face now. Doing that is still looking into the rearview mirror! Yes, there are disappointments in life, some small, and some not so small.

But if you are going to move forward with your life, you have to put your eyes on what is ahead. As you drive your vehicle, you not only see the road immediately in front of you, but you can also see a good ways up the road. So why not do that with your life? Stop dwelling on the past. Stop reliving it over and over and over. Stop talking about it. It is over with and there is nothing that can change what has happened in the past.

Of course, there may be circumstances that you have to deal with as the result of something that has happened in the past. Take care of those, but then be determined to move forward. The Bible talks about forgetting those things which are in the past. That means that it is a freewill choice to let go of the past. We can choose to look forward or to look backward. When you are driving your vehicle, you can't get very far without running into something if you're constantly looking into the rearview mirror.

I don't recommend trying this! And neither do I recommend doing it with life either. If you want to move forward with your life, then stop looking back, ask for God's help, and keep looking and moving forward.

Listen to one of Michael A. Verdicchio's Pep Talks at Michael has a free newsletter called, THE PEP LETTER, at Michael is a husband, father, minister, author, and broadcaster. He has been the voice on numerous productions over the years.

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