I spend a lot of time reflecting on the past. Too much time, in fact. I think about old friends, wondering what they are up to these days, daydreaming about what life might be like today if we had maintained our friendships. Most of the time, remembering good times prompts me to try to contact those old friends. And, unfortunately, technology allows this to happen without much effort.
I can Google people, Facebook people, e-mail people, and otherwise contact them anytime I want. I can try to rekindle that which God meant to be left in the past, but I will be disappointed. More often than not, those old friends are not the same people they were when I knew them. And I, thank the Lord, am not who I was when they knew me. We may exchange some catch up messages, but the friendship never just picks up where it left off. And that saddens me.
I am left mourning the death of our former friendship and lamenting the fact that no matter how hard I try, I can’t resurrect that friendship (at least not in any meaningful way). But sitting around depressed isn’t the biggest tragedy of this whole situation. The saddest part about this tendency of mine to dwell on the past is that I am missing what God is doing today.
God has been directing me to a passage in Isaiah a lot lately. You can call it coincidence if you want, but you’d be wrong. Just saying.
In Isaiah 43:18, God says, “Forget the former things. Do not dwell on the past.” In the very next verse, God tells why we shouldn’t dwell on the past. Verse 19 reads, “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?” I can almost hear the exasperation in the Lord’s voice. “Forget the past! What’s done is done! I want to do something amazing in your heart TODAY! Don’t you get it?!”
The more time we spend thinking about a retired relationship or regretting something we did or didn’t do, the more we miss out on being a part of what God is doing in the present. Don’t let the past sideline you today. The Lord is doing a new thing. Open your eyes, and perceive it!