Sunday, December 30, 2012
The Rearview Mirror
Simple things have a way of grabbing my attention. Lately, that simple thing has been the warning on the outside rearview mirror on the passenger side of the car. It reads, "Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear to be." Every time that mirror is used, the warning is there to read. And, over the years I have learned it is true. Going to the extra effort of twisting the neck to take a look is not a bad idea. It makes for safer driving.
But, there is another side to it. You cannot drive the car if you are always looking in the rearview mirror. Checking it is ok, but the best thing to do is to keep most of our driving energy focused on what is ahead. It makes me think of something Jesus said about our inability to plow a straight furrow if we are constantly looking behind to see how we are doing. When life gets to cluttered with what is behind us, or when we stay too focused on the rearview mirror of our life, getting into the future God has planned for us is made even more difficult than it is when we have all our energy focused on what is ahead.
I guess it is one of those end-of-the-year things. What is behind cannot be forgotten. Some of what is back there taught me some valuable, if not hard lessons, but it is also necessary to move forward in life. What can be handled obviously needs to be handled, but pre-occupation with wrong choices or unavoidable negative stuff is not where God intends for any of us live. There are those things like grace and forgiveness and mercy out there in front of us and when we keep out eyes on them, the need to constantly be looking behind is no longer such a necessity.