When I was a teenager in high school I worked at a grocery store in Virginia. I started as a bag boy and worked up in to the ‘prestigious’ meat and seafood position. You meet and see a lot of interesting people when you work at a grocery store. I remember I met one guy who had been in a traffic accident and was partially paralyzed at a young age. Really nice guy named Doc. Another guy there actually did the singing telegram thing where he would show up at your party or door or whatever and sing to you while dressed like a gorilla or something. He was pretty proud of himself, I recall.
A singing gorilla does sound impressive. But anyway…..
Another interesting guy came to mind tonight. There was a guy that worked in the meat and seafood department that had an interesting method of displacing his anger. Whenever he would get angry – maybe at his girlfriend or somebody who cut him off in traffic or something – he would punch the rear view mirror in his car. If you know much about rear view mirrors, you’d agree that they are not necessarily built for impact, so this guy would repeatedly punch and break off his rear view mirror and have to repair them as often as his anger got the best of him.
Not the best way to handle your frustration, for sure…..
His anger (mis)management method did strike a thought, however. How often is our spiritual progress impeded by us spending time looking in the rear view mirror of life? Yes, there is some interesting stuff back there. Mostly failures, regrets, and things we wish we could undo. There are also things back there that the devil would like to make you second guess leaving. Maybe the party scene, an old flame, or a past addiction. Things that he wants to keep you distracted with so that you don’t keep your eyes on the road ahead.
Have you ever tried driving forward while exclusively using your rear view mirror? Impossible. You will end up off of the road every time and eventually you’ll probably end up significantly injured. We have to be alert and looking ahead for the hazards that may be in our path. The speed bumps, the bumpy road, the detours – whatever we may encounter on our spiritual road. If we are not looking forward we will continually find ourselves off track, trying to recover, and attempting with little success to maintain our relationship with Jesus while looking to our past. The two can not work together. At some point we have to come to the point where we get angry and take a stand against the devil.
Its time we break off the rear view mirror.
Do it. It’s time. Quit looking behind you at the past. Look ahead to the future that God wants to lead you into. But do this, once it’s broken off – throw it away. You don’t need it. Leave the past back there. God has an awesome future in front of you.
Galatians 5:1 – Walk in the freedom God has given you. Don’t return to captivity.
Hebrews 12:1 – Set the things that hinder you aside. Don’t carry them around.
Matthew 6:24 – You can’t serve 2 masters. You have to choose. Will it be Jesus or will it be your past and all that comes along with that.