Have you ever thought or said the words “if only”? I have been guilty of thinking and saying that so many times in my life and still slip up and think or say it occasionally. I have wished many times that time machines and time travel were realities so that I could travel back and make different decisions for my life. Of course, I would want the wisdom I have acquired over the years when I did go back in time so that I would not repeat the same things a second time. I am sure that most people who are honest would admit that they also have wished they could go back and make different choices.
Have you ever tried to drive forward while looking in the rearview mirror? If you try to do that, you will crash because you are concentrating on what is behind you while trying to go forward! We all could learn from that analogy. Philippians 3:13-14 says:
13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Paul realized that in order to reach forward, you have to quit looking backwards. If we choose to live in the past and concentrate on past mistakes, we will never move forward. When we repent for the sins, mistakes and bad decisions of our past, God not only forgives us but He forgets those things and wipes the slate clean. However, sometimes we hold those things against ourselves and have trouble letting them go. The good news is that, if we choose to do so, we can let them go and start moving forward. If we learned from our past mistakes, we have gained knowledge and wisdom to help us with future decisions so we don’t repeat the same things. Our past can either keep holding us back or help us with our future! The decision is ours so the next time we have that thought or start to speak those words, we need to stop that in its’ tracks and look forward!