Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Good Look Behind

A while back I was driving on the freeway when my rearview mirror decided to commit suicide. In an instant, it leaped away from its secure and beneficial position, crashed on the dash and rolled onto the floor, there to lie in state. I couldn’t believe it.

Grief over the untimely and unnatural death of the mirror swept over me, and I became vividly aware of how instantly insecure I felt.

I couldn’t see behind.

Until replacing it about a week later, each time I drove somewhere I felt little security about what was before me because I had become insecure about what was behind. I drove around always on edge and with virtually no confidence. For a while I forced myself to drive without a look behind, but until I replaced the mirror, I never felt right.

I do that sometimes in life, as well, and it’s terribly dangerous because I don’t do good without a good look behind. My going forward first requires a look back at what has been done for me by Jesus. If I forget to take a look, or if I can’t see behind, I’ll be out of sorts wherever I go.

I must know and have settled in my heart the momentous occasion of my past crucifixion and resurrection with Christ Jesus. If I don’t, I’ll bash around in my day like a bumper car at Disneyland; fun for a while, but getting nowhere. When Jesus died, in Him the guy I used to be died, too. When Jesus rose from the dead, the new me did, too.

My look behind at what Jesus did for me and to me means I can go forward, knowing the truth about how to live and look at what’s ahead. And everything’s different. From then on I regard nothing and no one from a worldly viewpoint (2 Cor 5:16). Instead, I listen and look for the Spirit’s involvement with me and figure He knows about everything and everyone else. It’s then I’m led by the Spirit, which has become my new normal way to live. Knowing what’s gone on behind me allows me to look forward with confidence because I know that I’m really living. I need that! And it’s then I live for what’s eternally true, not for what’s temporarily before me.

In view of the past, I can see ahead; and it doesn’t look so bad from there.


  1. Anonymous7:13 PM

    I have a lot of struggles with time.
    When I focus on the past, bad memories tend to crop up "you're a failure". When I focus on the present, lots of performance stuff tries to crowd its way in-between me and friends,stuff like "you should look like this" or "you should say that" or "you shouldn't have said that" or worse "they don't really like you- this isn't real". When I focus on the future I become a worry-wort "what are you going to do if this happens? You can barely take care of yourself now". I am plagued. When I read your blog post I hear "You are so self-centered; you really ought to focus on Jesus more". Every message, no matter how it's meant to come across, gets perverted as it is filtered through my brain.
    But sometimes something good gets through too. Lately Paul's words about running the race and never looking back mean more to me than anything. I focus on the path laid before me (by Jesus Christ) and the path walked by me (with Jesus Christ) instead of getting dragged into the potholes. I'm pretty sure it's a path and storyline that exist outside of time and space...which gets me out of the time struggle.

  2. You sound great. And I know that He is faithful to you, His workmanship. How pleased He must be with you!


  3. Anonymous7:25 PM

    He is. Even when I'm at my most crazy and messy, which I find a little dumbfounding.
    & thanks for the response, Ralph. You're a blessing.