LEARN from the past, Winston Churchill once said, “Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it”. This is quite an appropriate line to give positive reflection to the past. It’s all about lessons that can be learned so that the past experience does not have to be repeated. A noted theologian Soren Kierkegaard said of the past, “Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forward”. The suggestion here is that to live in the past is to stand still and not move into your future. Kierkegaard gives relevancy to the past, it aids in understanding life. In order to live the theologian says we have to look forward and move forward.
Leaving church on Sunday I watched this little boy who had run up ahead of his mother, he must have been about 4 or 5 years old. As he got ahead of his mother, he kept looking back to see where she was. The mother on the other hand kept saying to her son, “Son watch where you are going”. Every time she said that, he would turn his head in the direction of his feet and miss hitting another pedestrian in front of him or change his direction from walking too closely to objects in his path. Finally, his mother said “stop right there”, because it was too dangerous for him to go any further without an incident occurring. For those spending too much time living in the past understand that you cannot move into the future sitting in the anger, distress, heartache, self-loathing, disappointment, bitterness, unforgiveness, loss, betrayal you may have experience. That experience had its time and place in your life.
Know that humanity was not built to forget, so receive healing or deliverance from the hurt of the past, learn the lesson intended, grow from or through what happened, then put the past in its place. Please be clear the message here is not simply get over it. The message is deal with your past otherwise it will deal with you. What I mean is if you fail to address the issues of why you made that decision, why you allowed yourself to be beaten, why you can’t stop abusing, why your addictive behavior overrules you, those things will continue to rule over your life. Sometimes we cannot overcome the past without some help. There are times when we need a trained professional to assist us with tools and guidance to move forward. Life was not meant to be lived backwards!
Today is a new day with new possibilities. Mother Teresa said, “Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin”. Begin today looking forward and not living in the past. Today, learn from the past. Glean every drop of wisdom, every drop of strength, every drop of fortitude from where you have been because you will need that for where you are going. Begin today….LIVE!!!