"But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:14
This post will horrify some of you. Simply blow you away. But, well, I want to tell you the truth.
Basically, I leave My Past alone.
I've got two bins of my little family's photos, and too, pictures from my own childhood, but I almost never look at them.
I'm not into genealogy. At all. My only relatives who I find terribly interesting are my grandparents:
... and I knew them, personally. Loved them in-person. My memories of them inspire me, make me smile and leave me anticipating Heaven when we'll be reunited. And too, it's ultimately my experiences and God's incredible goodness, mercy and His patience which has made me what I am today--not my ancestors. I see that as fact.
I've got hatboxes stuffed with old letters from even my high school days, but (don't scream) I'm considering recycling them with the trash. I never look at them; I just lug them from house to house, so why keep them? (And before you say that my family might like to see them when I die, save your breath. They care less than I do about My Past.)
We have one video tape with old film of Tom, Naomi (age 9) and me from our Nevada Days. There's a video of Naomi in a town play at age 14 and assorted videos of Tom's and Naomi's college concerts together back in the 90's. We never watch them.
We just don't care anymore.
Oh, I do treasure My Past for one reason: the valuable lessons it teaches. You know, how not to act. What doesn't work. How not to be. I've learned much from My Past, actually.
In fact, I used to be extremely sentimental, thought about My Past almost daily, reread my old diaries and letters, wished My Past could be My Present. That's when I lived in the Nevada Desert during my Darkest Days of Depression.
So not good to yearn for dead days.
But now? Now this is what I believe, this is what I do, this is how I live:
“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert." Isaiah 43: 18-19
And now My Present has become My Good Old Days. Living fully in the Now is so amazing, so good, that I find Now and pressing on to what lies ahead, best, like discovering new ways, new rivers in what otherwise would be a desert if God were not leading me through. In joy.
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come." 2 Corinthians 5:17
If you enjoy splashing around in Your Past, that's cool. I'm just telling you how I feel about mine.