Yesterday, as I was flipping through channels on the television, I stumbled across a minister who was talking about the need for people to focus on the future instead of dwelling on the past.
Everyone makes mistakes, he said, but we don't have to concentrate on those mistakes. Instead, we can concentrate on making our futures drastically different from any scarred pasts we may have endured. The past is important for us to learn from, but dwelling on mistakes and hurts will only prolong our arrival at a safe destination.
Then this minister made an analogy which will replay in my mind every time I travel by car. He explained that when we are driving somewhere, we are not guided by what we see behind us in the rearview mirror as much as we are guided by what we see in front of us in the windshield. Although it is important to check the rearview mirror at certain times while driving, if a driver is not watching through the windshield, he or she will not know which direction to drive. In fact, not being fully aware of what is before you could make driving a dangerous experience.
When operating a vehicle, any driver can tell you that the objects in the rearview mirror get further and further behind as he or she moves closer and closer to those in front of the car. By maneuvering our vehicles forward, we travel farther and farther from anything unpleasant once seen in the rearview mirror.
In this scenario, people who don't want to let the past go, could possibly be pictured driving backwards, guided only by what little they can see in the rearview mirrors.
As drivers of our own vehicles, we control our destinations. We can choose to do an illegal U-turn in the middle of a busy road, heading back to a possibly undesirable situation. On the other hand, we could choose to continue moving far away from painful pasts into healthy safe futures. We choose. We control our destinations.
This morning as I sat down in the front seat of my car, started my engine and prepared to back out of my driveway, I realized how very limited my vision is while looking through my rearview mirror. Once I was on the road, the minister's words came back to me. Indeed, what I saw in front of me was a much clearer picture than what lay behind.
It was then I purposed to let go of the past and drive heavy-footed dead-ahead in search of a better tomorrow.