Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Are You Looking in the Rearview?

What is the first reaction you have when driving down the road and a cop passes you on the opposite side of the road? Is it look in the rearview mirrow or look straight ahead? I am going to guess that at least 90% of Americans would say "the rearview." It's just a natural instinct to look up and see the cop behind you. Is he still driving the other way? Is he turning around? Does he have his flashing lights on? These are all questions that run through our minds when this happens. And here is the funny part ~ we do all this even if we are not driving in excess of the posted speed limit, or doing anything else wrong for that matter. Even if we are being a good, obedient citizen, the temptation to look is too great and we do it anyway.

Think about this for a moment ~ I want to live my life so that when I pass a cop while driving, I do not have to look in my rearview mirror. In other words, I want to live my life looking straight ahead and not looking back or over my shoulder.

So when the cop passes your car and your head instantly turns to the right to see the rearview, and you see the cop still driving the opposite direction, do you breath a sigh of relief? Yes. But if the cop is turning around and coming towards you, do you panic? Yes. He might not even be coming after you, and you still have a moment of panic. I was driving down the road a few months ago one beautiful morning, and the cop did pass me heading the other direction. You know what I did? I looked straight ahead because I knew I was driving the speed limit (or under) and had nothing to worry about. Then I quickly realized that I could use this analogy for life just the same.

So many of us get hung up on the past, or what has happened to us, or one certain incident that we cannot let go of, and so on. We want to relive the past when it was good, or go back to a certain time that was fun and we were comfortable. But reality says we cannot do that. We must always look ahead and keep moving forward. The days, minutes or seconds do not stop for us. Each second is here for that long and then gone. Each minute is here for that long and then gone. You get the idea. Time does not stop for anyone; it only moves in one direction -> ahead. Looking in the rearview signifies this very well. What do you see in the rearview mirror? What is behind you. What just passed you. What was just in front of you. Life is the same. Once the time has passed, the time is gone. There is no going back to redo something or relive in the moment. Time passes and brings new times so we should appreciate every moment while the time passes, not after the fact. We should live in the moment while it is here because just like everything else, once something is gone, it is gone.

Think for a moment about a wonderful moment in your past. You were happy and loving life at that time, weren't you? You thought things would be like that forever and you never wanted things to change. Next...

Think about a time that wasn't so good for you. Life was rough, times were hard, you wanted to crawl under a rock and hide, or even worse, you wanted to die in that moment because you felt like you couldn't move forward. Now that wasn't as much fun as remembering the good moment, was it?

My point of remembering both moments, good and bad, is the fact that time moved on and we have all had good and bad moments in our lives. Good and bad times. Sometimes they last for a few minutes, other times they last for months or years.

I personally choose to look ahead and not in the past. And I do that with a smile and an open heart because you never know what changes will come ahead. I want to look straight ahead when that police car passes by, because I know that I was doing the right thing (obeying the law and the speed limit) and I have no worries about being in trouble, or the cop catching me for something I did wrong. How are you living your life right now? Are you looking over your shoulder all the time? Are you doing something you know is wrong and that you know you should make right? Or are you right where you want to be? Are you right with God? Are you in a good place that makes you happy? These are all very good questions we all need to ask ourselves. Some words for the minds to chew and think about. If you know you have to look in the rearview of your life and constantly worry about what will happen next, or who will catch you doing something wrong, then it's time for a change. If you can look straight ahead and know you won't be in trouble when that cop passes you, then you are doing what you need to be. God wants us to live our lives fully, healthy, and with a happy heart. He wants us to live the best we can, even when we want to look in that rearview. He wants us to look straight ahead even if we do not want to.

So today is a good day to start. Do what is right, obey what He wants us to do, be a good person, help others, lead a good life, be an example for others. That is all God wants us to do. He wants us simply to follow Him and listen for what we are meant to do in this life. Good luck on your road of life; just remember looking ahead will get you so much further than looking back!

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