Our sixteen-year-old son, Stephen, is learning how to drive. Yes, that’s hyperventilation you’re hearing. He’s doing a great job – far more calm and confident behind the wheel than I was at that age.
Lane changes are his weakness. Like all new drivers, he has a tendency to turn his body when he looks back over his shoulder, and like all new drivers, he has to learn to compensate – or we’ll all die a horrible fiery death! Breathe in, breathe out.
This past week I joined Facebook (see link to the side). Scrolling through photos of people I went to school with brought mixed feelings. When I saw some faces, I made that shrieky sound my teenage daughter makes when she sees her best friend. Other faces brought painful memories of being ignored or teased. Others brought shameful memories of sins I committed.
Looking back can be beneficial. Some memories should be cherished and enjoyed. Others remind us of how we’ve grown, or of lessons learned the hard way. However, we must turn only our heads, and only briefly. When we turn our whole selves and face backwards, we risk being lost in wistful nostalgia for better days, in soul-destroying bitterness, or in paralyzing shame.
Look back, but keep moving forward. “But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” Philippians 3:13-14