Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Don't Let the Past Hold You Captive in Your Present.
Hope Moves Forward.

I like to walk, but I find myself running most of the time. Call it ADD. My mind is in a hundred different directions when I'm supposed to be focused on one. That is why it's hard to finish things.

My soul gravitates toward the ocean. My childhood was spent at sea level. The older I get, the more value my past has. I spent many years being told the past is gone and doesn't matter. I believed it. I wanted to believe it. I have spent so much energy trying to erase it. It won't go away. I now think it is not supposed to.

I stand on the beach, watching the tide rush over rocks, salt like sand paper smoothing out their rough edges. I'm careful not to walk on them as my feet might slip out from under me. How many years have they been there? It is obvious some are smoother than others. But they don't move. It will take as long as it takes. I see broken shells and dirt and wonder how many things have been washed upon them. I see evidence of crabs, barnacles, people, dogs, seaweed, all mixed with the salt.  Every stage of every rock makes the reef that goes out to the sea. As I ponder it all I remember what a friend has told me several times. Every time I read the Bible I am reviewing the past and their sin. And I think, I am seeing God's great work in all of it.

Most of life is walking with and walking through. We don't erase it. Every step adds to the last and brings us closer to our destination. If it hurts, we walk through it. I would rather walk through it and be able to look back and see what God did in spite of it than to say it has no further purpose. I miss things when I run. This life is more a marathon than a sprint. I have been racing and not walking. I have been trying to erase my past but it doesn't let me. Without my past, I have no memories. I don't learn for the future.

It is true that God sees me through the eyes of redemption. Christ's blood washed away my sins. It is also true however, that working out my salvation means seeing how the past effects my present and future. How I relate now to what has been before will show what will be later on. Too much ignoring and excusing and waiting for things to get better just makes for stagnant waters. There must be some intentional action; some walking on the water, some believing God when you are too scarred and too scared and your life is simply too hard.

Rocks don’t move, but they become smooth over years with salt water; a constant pouring over emanating beauty just by being. People are not rocks. They need to grow. Trials, sufferings, circumstances are all salt. They too are constant and faithful. We are not meant to do nothing and be swallowed by them. God wants us to learn and be strengthened in our relationship with Him and with others as a result of them. In allowing the salt of the trial to move us, we become salt for others.

 A pioneer can clear a path. He doesn't know if any will follow. He doesn't know what he will find. I have a sure hope and a destination already in place. My sins are forgiven. I have to start walking.

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