Quit Looking Back!

The other day, right after I pulled out of my driveway, a little truck barreled down the road toward me. Now, you have to understand, the road I live on is narrow. Very narrow, with soft shoulders. So, I pulled over as far as I dared and kept moving, albeit slowly, just in case I started to sink or get stuck. The little truck whizzed past me and like a silly goose I watched him go by in my side mirror. And almost ended up in the ditch on the opposite side of the road. (Which would NOT have been pretty nor fun, as you can see from the garbage truck that landed in one of our ditches last fall.)

You'd think that after all the times I've done that same stunt that I'd learn to quit looking back, but nooooo. I just keep doing it.

When I was pregnant with my oldest, we went on a wilderness canoe trip in the wilds of Canada. We packed everything we needed for the week on our backs and were out of contact with the rest of the world. It was a life changing trip, and it was also the first time I realized my propensity to watch life go by in my side mirrors rather than keeping my eyes on what was coming up ahead of me. That trip and that particular experience turned into a short story about shooting some river rapids and then grew into a full-length manuscript which I've been working on editing this month. (You can read the short story here.)

So when I caught myself watching that little truck go by in my side mirror I immediately thought of the lesson I learned all those years ago.

All too often I'm so focused on my screw-up, my problem, my whatever, that I end up running smack into the next thing coming at me because I was looking backward instead of forward.

Our lives don't end when we screw things up.

Paul said it well in Philippians 3:13-14
But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Once the difficulty is past us, we need to hold on to what we've learned from it but let go of the rest, face forward again and press on. Just like I almost went in the ditch because I was looking back at the little truck, if we're looking backward in life we can slam into another difficulty we could have otherwise missed.

Forget what's behind you,
reach forward,
and press on.
If we don't, we'll end up buried in a ditch.


  1. YES - such a natural tendency (and I MAY be familiar with that story! hehe). Thank you for the reminder.

  2. Great lesson, and well illustrated, too. Lot's wife could have benefited from this one. :) Actually, I am benefiting from it, too.

  3. I've said it before, but I'll say it again. You have a GREAT gift for expressing the spiritual lessons in every day experiences. It's why I started following you in the first place when I hardly knew ye. :)

  4. I like this one - it is true, and a great reminder to move ahead in faith, not worrying about things we can't change anyway!

  5. You know I get this one. Perfect example, Peej. Looking ahead with you!

  6. Patty, love the insights you shared and the photos were a perfect compliment to your post. Sometimes I spend too much time looking back attempting to analyze things.


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