By: Dr. Synesio Lyra, Jr.
People who dwell too much in the past, fail to advance in the present, toward the future which life is calling them to apprehend! This is as true of a past filled with unpleasant occurrences as it is of former days marked by glowing achievements.
In either case, one is trapped and unable to move ahead with the zest necessary to attain the anticipated destination. We are called to run with patience and determination, the race appointed for us, without any entanglements which would retard or hinder our progress.
Whenever confronted with the challenge of advancing in life, and making necessary improvements, allow nothing good or bad to impede you from actively pursuing that new path to present joy and ultimate fulfilment!.
The late Brother Roger, Prior of the famed Taizé Community in France, recognized that sound challenges encourage you not to look back, not to linger over your failures, nor the failures of those around you, I would add. Yet, so many persons tend to return to a sad period in their earlier life and get stuck there; yet that colors their perspective on life. While you ignore healthy invitations to new heights, new adventures, new concrete blessings ahead, your preference often is to remain bound to situations long gone, commiserating with others while adding negativity to the surroundings!
For those who wish to follow God’s directives, there are no steps backward, only forward! He wants us to grasp each new moment, and find in them His additional prescriptions to stay on course and keep moving with enthusiasm toward the goal before us!
Looking back may be alright as a means of measuring one’s progress, of recognizing one did not get trapped in the past, and of rejoicing one is still on course instead of going around in circles, or paralysed for lack of proper ambition to move ever forward!
The real challenge lies in the fact that the Creator is always inviting His children to a higher plane. And the journeys leading to enduring satisfaction must always begin with the right step, and retain the proper pace for its intended achievement!
When God brings you through unpleasant places, His purpose is not to leave you there; remember that it’s not your destination yet; it’s simply a momentary stop or detour in the road to greater and better things, on the way to the best place. The road to joy is never devoid of obstacles!
For years, my life motto has been what I took from the diary of David Livingstone, the great pioneer, medical missionary and explorer in the African continent. He enthused: “I am prepared to go anywhere, as long as it is forward!”
Therefore, instead of being conditioned by circumstances, whether good or bad, you should be animated by certainties, for only these give direction to a life of genuine fulfilment! Don’t be overly preoccupied with the tragedies of the past, or even the glories of a previous era. Instead, concentrate on the life you have right now, and make the best of it, with God’s help!