A new year is a good time to refocus. It is a good time to renew our vision for the future. And that means it is a good time to release the mistakes, failures, and disappointments of the past.
Brothers and sisters, I know that I still have a long way to go. But there is one thing I do: I forget what is in the past and try as hard as I can to reach the goal before me. I keep running hard toward the finish line to get the prize that is mine because God has called me through Christ Jesus to life up there in heaven. Philippians 3:13-14 (Easy To Read Version, ERV)
Life cannot be fully lived if we keep reliving the past. Even the triumphs of the past can become a hindrance if we put more attention on them than where we are heading. The Apostle Paul had his fair share of triumphs and tragedies, but according to Phillipians, he refused to think on them. He was laser-focused on his goal. He was tuned into God and tethered to his call. He was driven to accomplish what he was placed on earth to do, and he did not allow the past to get in his way.
The past has already passed, and it cannot be changed. It is a waste of time and energy to look back. The only time we should look back is if there is a lesson to be learned from something we have experienced. Using experience as a teacher is a good thing to do, but we must also be careful not to over-analyze the choices and events of the past.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow once said, “Look not mournfully into the past. It comes not back again. Wisely improve the present. It is thine. Go forth to meet the shadowy future, without fear.”
Good words to live by as we head toward a new year full of promise.