Once you have begun a journey, don’t look back

The beginning of a new year is the traditional time to take stock of our lives and see where we are going, measured against the backdrop of where we have been.

As the New Year starts and we look back, I ask that you should not dwell on the olden days or even yearn for them, however good those yesterdays may have been.

Living too much in the past, filling our days with nostalgic memories, remembering past experiences or relationships which have now changed, or are no more, is actually very damaging to our emotional and spiritual lives.

The past is to be learned from but not lived in.

Only look back to claim the embers from the glowing experiences but not the ashes.

Once you have begun a journey, don’t look back.

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Dismiss the destructive, and keep dismissing it until the beauty of Christ reveals to you your bright future and the bright future of your family, your friends, and those around you. God doesn’t care nearly as much about where you have been as He does about where you are and, with His help, where you are willing to go.

The trouble with the nostalgia, and why it can be such a challenge to the life of faith, is that it is not usually real or true. What we remember nostalgically is usually a distortion. We do not always remember that which really was.

But it is not only nostalgia that encourages us to look back. Our past can have a real power over us: perhaps something in our past which fills us with guilt or regret; something we just can’t shake off, and which we carry as a burden; perhaps a broken relationship or something we did which we know was wrong.

We shouldn’t underestimate the importance of this letting-go part anytime that God has a new horizon for us. Tradeoffs are involved every time we take a step forward with our life; choosing a new option always means letting go of an old one. If we’re too inclined to hold on to the past at any point, we’ll prevent ourselves from experiencing God’s best.

If we look back and dwell on what was, we can't be effective in the here and now.

Let's not be satisfied with what has happened in the past.

Let's rather focus on what God is calling us to do today and press on to what he has promised us for tomorrow.

Submit to Him. Don’t look back! God is doing a NEW thing!
I don't mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. — Philippians 3:12-14

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