Have you ever noticed how many songs out there talk about time? Every style of music has tackled the issue of time. They put it in a bottle, they say the secret to live is enjoying the passage of time, many writers over time have had their spin on time. Well, with the writing of this week's blog being late, it seemed even more appropriate to talk about time.
The past is something that for the most part, always seems like it is better to leave it where it was. We should learn from it, we can enjoy thinking about it and we can reflect on it. But, one thing is for sure, the past IS the past. The past means behind you. But unfortunately, some people pull the most unpleasant parts of the past into today. When I think about the past being pulled into today, I think about dragging something with me that creates extra weight that I have to pack. Or how about thinking about the past as out of date milk or other food products. High school or other "like" reunions can also fall into this category. It amazes me how when people get together for those events, instead of talking about today and the future, they want to talk about what was behind them instead of the here, the now and the future. In Philippians 3:13-14 Paul is talking about the past and the future. He says he does not dwell on the past but, "...one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind me and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus". Did Paul have a perfect life? NO. Did he make mistakes? YES. Did he get past the past? YES. And how did he do it? Through Christ.
Where are we today? Paul lived in today and in the future through Christ Jesus and the relationship that would develop with God. Too many times today, I think people that are and are not Christians can get pre-occupied with the past. I am a lot like Paul from a past standpoint. I am not perfect and I have made plenty of mistakes. How about you? I don't dwell on the past, my past, other people's past, my plight in life in the past, really none of that. It makes no sense and accomplishes nothing but pain. So, here is my challenge to me and to you. Get past the past and live in today. Look at the day which the Lord has made today. Too many times we fail to stop and enjoy God's creation. It is absoultely amazing no matter what the season or the weather. Be happy and rejoice in whatever you can in today. Don't get preoccupied with things that don't matter and are "water under the bridge". Focus on making your life the best it can be through a close walk and relationship with God. If we live more in today and less in the past, tomorrow looks a whole lot better.
Finally, the only way we will find contentment in today and tomorrow is to find peace in God through Christ Jesus. I was recently asked to define peace in my Bible class study material and for me, this is the definition of peace. "Peace: Being content through Christ in a discontent world". Some days I do better than others but one thing is for sure. My today's and tomorrows are a lot better than the past because today, more than ever before I have contentment through my relationship with God in Christ Jesus. If you are holding on to the past, let it go. Contentment and peace are found in today and tomorrow through giving your life to God through Christ Jesus, Romans 12:1-2. The past should stay where it is because there is too much to be gained from getting closer to God today.