Yesterday, Danae and I went ice skating with some of the youth. Danae had been wanting to, and we even planned for her to get some lessons this summer, but we just weren’t able to make time for it. When our friend and youth leader Belle invited people, we grabbed the opportunity. It was after Danae’s last session of piano lessons anyway.
Danae was already on the ice when I joined them. She remembered what her ate Kisha, a real ice skater, taught her years back about balancing. She was able to maneuver herself on the ice though her “footwork” wasn’t right. She fell many times. I tried coaching her, based on what she was doing (cause I’m just a basic skater too)…”Keep moving forward. Keep going. Don’t look back.” “Every time you look back or look around, you lose your balance. You fall.”
If I may borrow Oprah’s words, I had an AHA moment. Many times in life, we’re not able to move forward because we keep looking back to our past. We get stuck. We move forward a little, and then pause to look back. We move on, yet we pause to relive the past and dwell on it. If it’s a past relationship, we think about the what-ifs and the woulda-shoulda-couldas. In my opinion, if it’s over, then there must be a reason why. But if you’re meant to be together in the future, God will make a way to bring you back together.
If it’s a past sin that we have already repented of and turned away from, it’s so easy to do it again when we stop and look back at how good it made us feel. Thank God my friends, who were also smoking at the time mind you, told me not to when I was about ready to turn back to taking up the habit again. They told me that I was already there, so I should keep going.
Sometimes, we let the enemy lie to us and condemn us about our past, about our mistakes. When we make new mistakes, he always reminds us of our past ones and tells us we’ve never really changed. We end up discouraged, disheartened, hopeless. We lose our balance and we fall. But God forgives. God redeems, restores, and renews. What we do now and tomorrow are more important than what we did yesterday.
Despite Danae’s many spills, however, she did not give up. When I was already done (I never fell, but my feet hurt!), she still wanted to keep skating. When the others were done, she still wanted to keep skating. In the same way, falling should never keep us from getting back up on our feet and trying again. We should never give up on ourselves. Never give up on God. Let’s keep at it, even when it hurts!
The adult Lewis (Meet the Robinsons) says keep moving forward. Rafiki (Lion King) says it (the why) doesn’t matter because it’s in the past. The past can hurt, but you can either run from it or learn from it.
Dwelling on our past merely distracts us from our goal, our purpose. As we turn away from our bad past or even move on after the good, learning the most that we can out of it, let’s move forward WITH OUR EYES FIXED ON JESUS. He alone can make our paths straight. He alone can bring us to our God-given destiny.