When I drive my van I hold the steering wheel in two hands, and look at the road directly in front of me. I do a complete stop at stop signs and carefully proceed forward. Occasionally I take a quick glance in the rear-view mirror to see if there is anyone behind me.
I know this is obvious; to drive safely I must keep my eyes forward and not staring into the rear-view mirror the entire time I drive. If I was to drive down the street only looking in the rear-view mirror I would drive into the ditch, or hit an oncoming car. By looking only in the rear-view mirror I would not be able to safely go forward; I would be concentrating on what is behind me, or on where I just was. I would not be looking where I want to be.
Today is today.
I can not go back in time. I can not return to the past by running backwards. I can not go back and change the decisions I made. I can not take back the expensive garbage can I bought, and buy something less expensive. I constantly think about the mistakes I made. Why did I do this? Why did I do that? My old this and that’s are camped out in my brain taunting me, and telling me life was better yesterday.
“Hey Hodges, your life was better in California. You miss your friends don’t you. You miss the fence you built, and you can’t even have chickens in your backyard in Pennsylvania. You could have put chickens in the goat pen you built in California, but you can’t can you.” The voices in my head are stealing the joy I could have today.
Hey, wait a minute. I didn’t even want chickens in California. And a friend is living in the house with the fence now. She needs the fence to keep her young son from wandering into the road. And I do miss my friends in California, but I have made new friends in Pennsylvania. And God has a plan for my life. He promises to give me a hope and a future. So be quiet.
I do not want to live in the past. I do not want “Rear-View Living.” I want to live today. I want to enjoy this moment. I want new dreams and new goals. I want to plan for the future.
I will take my eyes off of my past. I will stop staring in my rear-view mirror. I will forget what is behind and strain toward what is ahead. (Well, not completely forget, but I will quit whining about having to move, and enjoy where I am.)
Have you been living in your rear-view mirror?