Archives for posts with tag: past

leaf in water

“Let go of the past, and the past will let go of you…”

Cool quote. Not sure who it’s by. But cool, powerful quote.

“Do not call to mind the former things,
Or ponder things of the past.
“Behold, I will do something new,
Now it will spring forth;
Will you not be aware of it?
I will even make a roadway in the wilderness,
Rivers in the desert.

Isaiah 43:18-19

 

“I will do something new, Now it will spring forth…Will you not be aware of it?”

Tough to be aware of what’s ahead, what’s in front of us, when we’re looking in the past…in the rearview mirror of our lives, so to speak. When moving forward, it’s important not to be looking behind or accidents can happen. Yep, when moving forward, it’s important to be aware of what’s behind, but to be focused on where we’re going, not where we’ve been. Forward Steps. Not backward.

Gotta leave behind the old to get to the new. Leaves fall when trees let go. What makes them let go?  Gotta make room for the new, get rid of the old, before we can add more new.  Cool how the old,…the crunchy leaves soon turn to soft, and soon become a part of the soil. They soon become a part of the nutrients that feed the tree.

Yep, past is past, it’s there…it can remind us, feed us, fuel us with knowledge, wisdom, gratefulness and grace. But have you ever tried to keep, to hold onto a beautiful leaf?  It doesn’t stay beautiful…it fades and becomes dust. If we live in the past and try to  focus on and hold onto our little leaves of the past, we are left with a perspective that keeps us at bay and offers…dust. But if we let go, and let those leaves fall, yes, they become part of us, part of that soil that feeds in a good way.

I love how scripture speaks of the God who makes all things new. Redeems. Forgives. God grants hope that moves beyond the now to the what’s to come. A God that encourages us to remember, but not be held by former things. A God, who like moving waters of a river, calls us to move forward, to catch a ride with Him. Not stay in one place, for waters that do that quickly become stagnant. And stagnant is not good. It stinks. Literally and figuratively, it just stinks. Waters aren’t meant to be kept still. Not in streams, not in oceans, not in us. The heart that beats within us is constantly keeping our blood circulating, moving forward, and becoming full of life-giving oxygen with each beat.  The movement of that flow stops, then so do we…

But back to my little leaf metaphor 🙂 .  Leave behind the old, bring on the new. May the leaves be a reminder of the beauty of the past, but the letting go of it and the moving on toward the new. There’s a quote that I’ve seen a lot this fall and it’s beautiful. It says, “The trees are about to show us how beautiful it is to let things go.”  Yep. Definitely. In trees, and in me.

And like with trees, sometimes there’s a dormant season where you feel a little bare and don’t see the beauty of the new quite yet.  But it’s coming. Sometimes there’s just a little time to regroup, rest, and just be before the new comes swooping on in. And after winter of seeing gray and bare branches in the cold,  I know I sure appreciate the newness and beauty of Spring a lot more than if it had just marched on in right after the leaves left. Sometimes it’s good to get back to basics before the new comes….and then we appreciate and are ready for the new  so much more.

Just a few thoughts on leaves, the past, and the God who makes all things New.  Wonder what new things are in store? Wanna let go of the old to have open hands and heart to ‘be aware of ‘ that new thing. So here’s to Fall, and letting go, and believing that Spring is on it’s way.

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Blessings~

Heather

 

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Jeremiah 29:11 

 

Rear View

I’ve sat in the passenger seat and helped teach 5 teenagers how to drive. (FIVE!)It’s good training for having nerves of steel, it really is! But I always love how when kids have just gone through Driver’s Ed, they know the techniques. One son in particular was really good about using techniques initially. He had the hands at 10 and 2, and adjusted the mirrors. When he backed up, he always looked over his right shoulder, put his right arm back over the seat, and was really good at backing up in a straight line. I think it was because he would look over his shoulder and have a center line to gage from. He wouldn’t drift to the left or right, but stayed focused on the destination by looking back.

When I was learning to drive, I was terrible at backing up. I could do just about anything else, even parallel park. But when it came to backing up, I would drift and get off course in the drop of a hat. Later in life I still struggled with backing up in a straight line. It was probably most apparent the weekend I borrowed my friends trailer. Driving forward was no problem. But backing up with a trailer on the back, it was just too much. It could have been a comedy sketch watching me try and try and try again to back up a trailer in our curved driveway, but was a definite test of my patience at the time. I would avoid needing to back up with the trailer at all costs, but sometimes it was just inevitable. There was no way of getting around it.

It’s been one of those seasons for me of ‘backing up’…looking back and looking inward. Some things we were dealing with in my family made me really examine things in my own life and it’s been no fun. I needed to deal with some things. It was inevitable. I’m not talking about getting down on myself or the “paralysis of analysis”. I am talking about acknowledging mistakes and making room for growth in learning from them. There again, the goal is to learn from mistakes so as not to make the same ones over and over again. Years ago, our pastor would say “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll be what you’ve always been.” (Dave Shores) I sure don’t like the painful process of dealing with regrets. But sometimes, we need to visit those places in order to ensure that we don’t want to go back to the same old ways. Backing up in a car effectively takes using strategies. So does looking back into our lives. If we don’t have a center point, its so easy to get off course.

In that painstaking process of self-analysis, it’s so easy to drift one way or another. There can either be a deviation from standards and a watering down of expectations, or on the other extreme, there can be an overdose of shame and condemnation. Just as losing that focal point when backing up a car leads to drifting off course, losing perspective when looking back at past failures and issues without having a center point can make us drift far from where we need to be. As a mom of those in their teens and early twenties, I’m looking back a lot more now, and sometimes it just plain hurts to think of the “should haves” or “would haves”. But I want the looking back to be a motivator to do better as I move forward, and that requires keeping things in perspective.

So here’s the thing. As a believer in Christ, that center point, that standard of both acceptance and expectation, is found in the Truths of Scripture. If I am to stay on course, I need to fix my eyes on the One who can has been with me at the beginning of this journey, and will be there at the end. Bottom line, He’s been the One planning the itinerary. I love how Hebrews 12:1,2 talks about “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith”. He is the Author, the originator of our journey, and He is the One who will help us perfect it in the end.

So, as I’m backing up and owning up to things in my life, I am so thankful for a Redemptive God. He sees and guides and redeems. I want to be like my son who uses that focal point so that he can stay on course. I want to fix my eyes on Jesus and lay aside the weights that cling to me so that I can move forward. Yes, acknowledging the weights is key to letting them go, and that’s a part of the process of looking back. But the goal is to let those weights go and move on. I’m still here. This journey is so not done, so I want to make the most of it as I can….with those that I love…and enjoy the process. Yes, “forgetting what lies behind, I press on.” (Phil 3:13)…and pressing on is what it’s all about…

“so let us know, let us press on to know the Lord
His going forth is as certain as the dawn
and He will come, He will come to us like the rain
like the Spring rain watering the earth.”
Hosea 6:3

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