Forgetting What Lies Behind
by Allison Egley
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"Hey, what are you guys doing? You watching those old home videos again?" Peter planted one hand on the top of the couch and launched himself over the back to land in the empty spot between James and Andrew.
Andrew looked to Peter. "More like 'Earth Videos.'"
"Eh... yeah. Whatever. Ooo, we're getting to my favorite part."
Eleven pairs of eyes turned to him.
"Your favorite part?" James raised his eyebrows. "The only thing this video shows is our own stupidity."
Peter shrugged his shoulders. "Eh... I don't know if I'd call it stupidity as much as ignorance."
James glanced at Peter. "Okay. Same thing. It's still embarrassing."
"Yeah, but you know what they say, 'Some day you'll look back on all of this and laugh.'"
Andrew pointed to Peter. "There's only one flaw with your logic."
"That phrase generally refers to something you found embarrassing at the time."
James nodded. "Right. And at the time we weren't embarrassed."
"I still can't believe it." John shook his head. "We had all just seen...."
"Uhh...." Matthias interrupted, holding up a finger in protest "In my own defense, I was not yet a disciple of Christ."
John rolled his eyes. "Technicality. Anyway, as I was saying, all... most of us had just seen Jesus feed 5000 and then 4000 people..."
"Men," Matthias corrected.
"Oh, look who chimes in, 'Mr. I Wasn't There,'" John ribbed Matthias. "Now if I could please continue without interruption..." John glanced sideways at Matthias.
Matthias waved his hand. "Continue."
John took a deep breath. "We had just seen Jesus feed two very large crowds.... the exact numbers aren't important.... and here we were worried because we didn't have any food on our boat."
James smacked his forehead. "How could we have been so stupid?"
"Oh no. Not this part." Peter hid his face in his hands.
Andrew grinned. "Hey, if you're not going to get embarrassed by that last video, we've got to watch this one."
Peter collapsed to his knees. "But I did know Him. I did know Him. I do know Him. Forgive me, Lord."
The eleven gathered around Peter. James patted Peter on his back. "Hey, it's okay. I'm sorry. We shouldn’t have showed that one. Besides, you've been forgiven. Long, long ago."
"Yes, I have. By the grace of God, I've been forgiven. It's just.... I'm amazed when I think about what I once was and who I am now, in Christ. It's a miracle. And one I didn't deserve."
Luke smiled. "None of us deserved it. That's what makes it so amazing."
Peter looked over his shoulder and screamed. "Take cover!" The twelve ducked behind the sofa, just as Paul launched himself onto it, occupying the space where Peter, James, and Andrew had just been sitting.
Paul bounced on the couch. "Hey, what's up? You guys watching 'Earth Videos' again?"
"Yep," Peter nodded. "And embarrassing ourselves by commenting about how stupid we once were."
Paul stretched out on the couch. "That reminds me. Can we watch my conversion again?"
Peter clapped his hands excitedly. "Oh, lets! That's one of my favorites."
James rolled his eyes. "I think they're all your favorites."
"Shhhh." Paul put a finger to his mouth. "It's my favorite part. The light, the booming voice, I fall over blind... Classic. Just classic."
Luke shook his head and smiled. "Well, that was fun, guys, but I've got choir practice. Same time tomorrow?"
Peter shrugged his shoulders. "Tomorrow? What do you mean, 'tomorrow?' We've got all of eternity to enjoy this. Don't rush it."
And with that, Peter took a flying leap at Paul, pulling him off the couch. "That's what you get for disturbing my reminiscing."
This story came out of a conversation I once had on a college summer retreat. While studying the book of Mark, one of the guys in my group joked about the Disciples watching "home videos" in heaven, and commenting about how "stupid" they were. While I don't believe that our earthly failures will be brought to mind again in heaven, this was meant to be a peek into "What if..." We all know that here on earth we focus just a bit too much on the "What if" and on our past failures.
Philippians 3:12-14 (NASB)
Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
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Very creative and thought provoking - I enjoyed the read!