Looking Back Or Moving Forward?
January 21, 2009, 11:59 am
Filed under: Personal, Pop Culture | Tags: , , ,

When does looking back at the past become stuck in a rut? When does being nostalgic become an unhealthy obsession? When does longing for the “good ole’ days” become romanticizing situations that at the time were not necessarily good or good for you?

It’s funny how we have a tendency to look back at things and imagine they were better than what they were. I am finding that with all of the new social networks such as MySpace and Facebook and others like it lend themselves to people getting caught up in “the way things were” while hindering people from living in the present and moving forward.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to be negative and down on being nostalgic and looking back at where you’ve been in light of where you are going. I love Facebook and being able to catch up with old friends and reconnect and relive some moments in time. In fact I found an old friend from high school who had a video of me in marching band while I was a drum-major and he posted it on Facebook then I in turn posted on my blog. It was fun to look back and reminisce a little. I think the danger is when you spend a lot of time looking back and longing for what you think were the “good ole’ days” when God is trying to move you forward in to today. Wanting what you “had” and not focusing on what you “have” is the danger of looking back too much.

Some of you might totally disagree but I have really learned the lesson about seasons of life. I believe that God gives us seasons in our lives and even puts people in our lives during those seasons to encourage, challenge and teach us many things. I believe most of the time, yes most, not all of the time, those people in that particular season are just a part of our lives for that season. That doesn’t mean that they become your enemy or stop becoming your friend. It just means that their season of influence in your life, whether good or bad, is over and it’s time to move forward into another season. It’s because of this concept I believe that a person can only have a few life-long friends that transcend the seasons of life. That is a whole other blog, but if you have a few of those kinds of friends that God has blessed you with then you really have a treasure.

Anyway, to get back on task I believe that looking back on where you’ve been and what you have come through is vital and healthy. After all how can one know where they are going if they don’t know where they have come from? Although, I believe it is detrimental to look back with an unhealthy preoccupation of what was, instead of what’s now. God is always moving you forward in to a new area of your life where He is teaching you new things and molding you into the person you are to be. I don’t think that process is ever done and many times it isn’t an easy one. What makes that process harder is for us to keep looking backwards while Christ is moving us forward.

So in conclusion, look back and be nostalgic but don’t camp there. Just take brief glances always with the mindset of remembering what God taught you back then in situations and through people in order to get you where you are now. Moving forward is always easiest when you are actually facing that way.


3 Comments so far
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Another thing that happens when looking back so much is that we miss so many of the opportunites God places in front of us to bring new people into our lives. Instead we focus on keeping the same cluster around us in turn becoming nothing more than a clique concerned only with “our memories” that new people do not feel welcome or a part of. Who knows who God might be trying to place in our lives during this season?

Comment by andrealoper

“Moving forward is always easiest when you are actually facing that way.” – this line is so true!! Each experience brings us to where we are today but if we are not willing to look ahead, be open to what God has in store for us and willing to leave the past in the past, then we get stuck.

Very insightful and thoughtful post – Bry and I have been challenged recently with the past vs present vs what is to come.

Comment by Gina

[…]  My friend, Darrell talks about reflecting on the past and be ready for what God has in store for us today and each day forward.  What we experienced in the past is what brought us to where we are now – we need to honor that, reflect on it, grow from it, and be willing to move forward.  I love the last line from the post …Moving forward is always easiest when you are actually facing that way. […]

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