Presumptive Statement 2:
Life is like driving a car. If you stare at the rear view mirror you'll drive in a ditch.
Scripture Reference: Philippians 3: 12-14, ESV
Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
OK, I'll be the first to admit the confusing life dynamics of advancing age. After this Covid 19 virus I'm in a period of shrinkage. Managing my waist dimensions has always been a challenge, every day being ruled by thirty-two sweet teeth and a craving for carbs. So, the baggy pants and sagging shirts are somewhat of a blessing, though engineered by some miserable days. Suddenly, however, I'm two inches shorter, my feet are smaller and wider, and let's don't talk about needing some help hauling a crate of water from the trunk to the house. It's a reversal of human growth systems which I suppose are a natural part of this aging thing. Oh, and put an asterisk out there beside the mental capacities, especially those memory synapses. You know, football season is like that sometimes...
Truth is, reversals are part of the deal. Complex times, personal hardship, the obstacles and tests of living in a broken world, and so many other uncertainties distract us physically, emotionally, and sometimes spiritually. They often shift our attention away from the moment or from our life destination, resulting in a loss of direction. Analyzing, evaluating, and correcting the past can move us off course in the important relational and missional elements of life. Sure, who doesn't need to learn from the past. But, an unhealthy fixation on the rear-view mirror can cause us to drive in a ditch, or worse. I mean, simple as it may sound, everything in that vehicle is designed for forward motion. In all the windshields and windows that little rear-view mirror is usually our only visual backward reference, even with the new camera action. There's only one reverse gear and everything else faces forward.
Scripture portrays our spiritual experiences in terms of personal growth and forward movement. There are always dark hours which cloud the way at times. But, spiritual growth should enable us to comprehend what God is doing in our lives at the moment, and anticipate the fullness of his life destination in the future. Sadly, popular, contemporary faith is often periodic and momentary, immature on a broad scale. Somewhere in the past two thousand years the imperatives of a growing spiritual life---consistent worship, Bible study, prayer, fellowship, and service have been seconded by church activity and busyness rather than the clear expectations of biblical faith. Suddenly we're a nation of spiritual infants struggling with the physical and emotional complexities of life.
The Apostle Paul's personal testimony in Philippians 3 and his many other Bible references is that this Christian growth is a lifetime spiritual pursuit. Rather than living in the past, we move forward in faith. Simon Peter wrote, "But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen" (2 Peter 3: 18, ESV). The past is back there real as can be.
But, like the rear view mirror, it only requires an occasional glance.