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Rearview Living
by Brenda Emmons
10/11/12
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“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you” Prov. 4:24-25.

Back in the summer, our family vacation was in a townhome which had a garage underneath it. I had backed into this townhome many times before, but this particular day my perception was off and the side and rear view mirrors weren’t enough. I ended up scraping the side of my car against the frame of the garage door opening. I considered that maybe I had become complacent in my perception of backing into the space that was required. I am not a big fan of backing my car in anywhere. For me, backing in feels riskier than driving forward.

In my Bible Study this morning the author was considering the same concept only in spiritual terms. In this life we have all been wounded by another and tend to never let them out of our rearview mirrors. We constantly are looking back and rehearsing the ways they harmed us or harmed those we love. We run off the road because our gaze is glancing over our shoulders instead of looking up ahead. I love the way Sheila Walsh put in her book, God Loves Broken People. ‘…we let our focus lock onto life’s rearview mirror. We see so clearly our mistakes and the mistakes of others, our skewed perception of things, and the unhappy turn of events that mark our personal history. But who can drive anywhere looking in the rearview mirror? That mirror has been strategically placed over the windshield so our eyes can catch a quick glimpse of All Things Behind, before we return our gaze to All Things Ahead.’

God instructs us to ‘forget what is behind and strain towards what is ahead.’ He guarantees us that living life moving forward is a journey that will actually get us somewhere. God doesn’t like re-runs. To slight and slander another is to slight and slander God. Our gaze must be up ahead so we will not be consumed by the experiences of our past.

‘Don’t dwell on the past, and refuse to camp in the tragedies of your history or the bitterness of past wounds.’ God Loves Broken People, p. 13.

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