Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Looking to the Present

Well, it’s a beautiful day for my first flying lesson. As I strapped myself in and got settled behind the controls, I guess through reflex I looked up to adjust the rear view mirror as I would in a car. 

 But, there was no rear view mirror. That loud, cruel laughter you hear is from the young, cocky flight instructor as he assured me that in this plane were not going to fly backwards. “It’s all going to be Forward and Upward,” says he!

I guess that wasn’t the first time I had fallen for the temptation to look back. So many times I have caught myself ruminating over things that have happened in The Past… hastily made poor decisions, impulsive acts, moving too quickly or not fast enough, hurting someone’s feelings through insensitive actions, saying the wrong or hurtful thing, disappointing someone, disappointing myself.

Analyzing, regretting or longing for the past is a total waste of time, I know. On one occasion I went back to my hometown remembering how wonderful my childhood was, but the city wasn’t the same, nothing was the way I remembered it.

I guess you can say that
I’ve given up all hope of seeing a better past!

And truly, that is the good news. The past is unchangeable and irrelevant. We have only Today. Yesterday is gone, Tomorrow isn’t here yet, and we have this wonderful Today to enjoy. Regretting or even longing to return to the Past is like awakening from a really interesting dream, and then trying to quickly slip back to sleep to see how it will turn out. Silly, I know.

The Bible points us in the right direction with assertions such as
”Beloved, now are we the sons of God” * andBehold, NOW is the accepted time; behold, NOW is the day of salvation."** Not last year or even yesterday… but NOW.

Even if our memories of the past are happy, warm and comfortable, we can certainly enjoy the afterglow, but to dwell on the past, to linger, to pine, to feel guilt or sorrow and let it control our present is futile and an obstacle to forward movement. As the stockbrokers always say,
“Past performance is no guarantee of future results.”

Maybe like me, you have heard older folks say “Well in my day” followed by some commentary, usually painting a picture of what they remember as better times pulled from their memory, many times forgetting the bad parts and recalling only the wonderful moments. 

A wonderful blog that I enjoy, “Listen Up and Lighten Up, written by Laura Moliter, recently featured this wonderful description of Today’s promise:  
"Accept today’s glorious and loving renewal. Looking over our shoulder with regret or carrying fears forth into a day that is full of perfecting protection and affection, is an unnecessary burden. The former things, the old thinking that never did us any favors, can be left in last year without a backward glance. You are not your history. You are not even your future. You are this moment’s child, new born through grace, innocent and ready and loved by God.**

A proclamation of promise contained in Science and Health says: “To those leaning on the sustaining infinite, to-day is big with blessings.”**

So, back in our Cessna, as we become airborne, leaving the runway and Yesterday behind, we bank to the left, make one last pass over the Field of the Past, and still climbing Forward and Upward, continue heading into the Present…. Today.

(Click links to go to source)
* I John 3:2 ** II Corinthians 6:2                             


kmac said...

Well, I think you certainly are flying, Mr Pat -- by the speed of the wonderful messages 'flying' out of your BlogSpot. Another wonderful reminder, which I will be sure to forward on to others. "THIS is the day the Lord hath made. Let us be glad and rejoice in it." Thanks for your good work!

Anonymous said...

I loved this, Pat! I'm finally dealing with the "pull of the past" and it's a very freeing thing to let it go. You have to stay alert, though, because it will try to sneak back in! Thanks for including Laura's beautiful quote, too. -Amy (Duncan)

Melissa Hayden said...

Thanks Pat - as the saying goes, today is a gift; that's why they call it the present!