“Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead.”
Do you remember the 1985 movie Back To The Future?” If not, allow me to refresh your memory. Teenager Marty McFly (played by Michael J. Fox) is transported back to 1955 in a Delorean turned time-machine, thanks to his quirky friend Dr. Emmett Brown (played by Christopher Lloyd). The result is a madcap trip that includes young Marty encountering his own parents when they were teenagers themselves. Fun entertainment that produced a sequel or two, if I remember correctly.
Have you ever wished you could go back in time? Maybe the reason you would like to go back in time is to once again experience a body void of all the aches and pains that creep up on us as we age. Or perhaps you would like to be transported back in time to undo all the mistakes you made when you were younger.
New starts are appealing to anyone who has regrets. And who doesn’t have regrets! Somehow we think that if we can rectify our past we can reshape our future. Perhaps that’s because the future is unknown and we don’t want to pile up anymore remorse than we already have.
But living in the past can be very dangerous, because it can easily rob us of our future. A future that God has already prepared for each of us. That’s why I like what Paul wrote in Philippians 3:13 – “Forgetting the past.” That tells us that the past is not going to evaporate or fade off into the sunset. The past is something we must deliberately and intentionally FORGET. Now true Galatians 6:7 reveals that “we will reap what we sow.” That particular verse reminds us that when we plant an apple tree, we will not only get the tree but all the apples that tree bears. In other words, be careful what you sow. But also as you forget your past mistakes remember that though you can’t do anything about PAST harvests, you can about FUTURE harvests. But in order for that to happen Paul tells us to “forget the past.”
But Paul doesn’t stop there. He then tells us to “look forward to what lies ahead.” In Christ every past is erased and we are given a new hope for the future. Our God is a God who not only forgives what is in the past, but He also redeems what lies in our future. And the future is where our hope lies.
So stop climbing into your Delorean and traveling back into your past. Remember that though we cannot go back and make a brand-new start, we can start now to make a brand-new future because Jesus Christ is in our future.