Have you ever had such an amazing experience in your life that is something you now strive to recreate? Maybe it was just a specific season of life where everything was going great, maybe it was the day you succeeded at something amazing, maybe it is the moment you met your spouse, or maybe it was spiritual experience you had that you wish was your constant reality.
The trouble with looking too fondly at the past is that we never quite get to experience what the future holds for us. In many cases the future holds better things for us than the past ever could compare too. Yet it’s when we long for what was and create that as a standard for our lives we can be paralyzed from going into the new and better.
I can remember a time in my life when I was the happiest in my spiritual life. It was a time that I experienced God in ways I never thought was possible. It was an actual act of God. Yet for many years I spent my life hoping this experience could be recreated and banking my entire life investment on experiencing that one thing again. Yet when something is an act of God and not you, it is near impossible for you to control God to create it again. I finally reached a point where I realized by doing this I was almost trying to be God in dictating how life should go instead of allowing Him to do what He desires. What if it was His intention for that experience never to happen again?
We can do this with relationships in the past as well, even those that have since grown and changed. We long for the day that was lived in the past when things were different. But when you change and grow, things are not supposed to be the same they are supposed to be different and better. We can even get caught up in relationships of all kinds that have ended that are not supposed to be part of our future and yet be held back by new and better experiences just by looking back.
You can tell what people are stuck in the past, they will talk about it fondly. “Yeah back in the day, I was buff!”, “Back in the day I had it all together, we all hung out at Jimmy’s and life was so great.” , “Back in the day…”
It is great to have good memories in our lives, but when we start to look to our past to create our future we are setting our sights too low and setting expectations that won’t be met. What if something even better is about to happen that you have never experienced but you miss it because “it’s not like the past”?
Remember that as you go after dreams and goals, that you don’t go after what has already happened. I honestly made this mistake for so many years and it makes me cringe to think of the time I wasted. True growth, healthy growth, healthy goals all have to do with the new and unexpected…even though by nature as humans we don’t like change…change is the default for life.
When we position ourselves for change and growth, allowing for a different future than our past, we can become all we were intended to be…and not be stuck in time waiting for what will never come. I was pondering this fact last night before I was going to sleep. I thought about how old I am and realized that I had yet another entire life to live yet. I thought about my life so far and then thought about living that time out again into the future it baffled me at how much of a life I have yet to live….value the time you have left! Don’t allow yourself get stuck in time, because we have a lot of living yet to do….and if you have less time than I do, well, you have less excuse then to be stuck in the past. Move forward into great things.