Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead…” Philippians 3:13
There’s a reason it is smaller. I like cars. I love cars. From my first car, a worn out, rusted out, 1962 Rambler, to what I drive today…cars have held a special place in my life. That old Rambler may have been akin to the “Ramblin’ wreck from Georgia Tech” but it was mine…a gift from my oldest sister and her husband. I was 16 or 17 and I thought I was on top of the world. Through the years I have had many different cars. Some were new (oh, how I love that smell) and more were used, but each one was my baby. I try and take care of both of our family vehicles, but mine always gets the best care. Don’t even think about eating in it. Grandkids are required to take a bath before getting in it. Even Judy requires a permission slip to drive it.
As different as these cars have been, there are a few things that they have in common. They all had an engine. The Rambler had a straight line six with a rod knocking but hey, it ran…for a while. My first new car was a 1973 Volkswagen Super Beetle. It had an engine too…but in the back. Trust me that was revolutionary in those days. Then there was the 1985 Oldsmobile Cutlass Cruiser. It had an engine—a diesel. I didn’t know a thing about diesels. Imagine my surprise when I looked for the spark plugs and found out it didn’t have any! Speaking of diesels, Judy and I both drive Volkswagens these days, both diesels and both get about 42 miles per gallon. So I’m returning to my roots.
Oh, and all those cars had tires, four of them. They had seats—most had seating for five, but some had more. Our mini-vans could seat seven and that Cutlass Cruiser could seat eight. All had heating and most had air conditioning. Like I said, they had a lot of things in common. And they all had a mirror. They had one or two sideview mirrors and then there was one that hung in the middle of the windshield. It allowed me to see what was behind, and as you know that is important. But there is one more thing that they had in common. They all had a windshield.
In the real old days, cars didn’t have windshields. You wore goggles and just picked the bugs out of your teeth. But somewhere along the way someone figured out that there had to be a better way and the windshield was born. The windshield allows you to see where you are going and what is coming at you. It is big because it is important. Have you ever thought about this—the thing that allows you to see the future is a whole lot bigger than the thing that allows you to see the past. Hmmm. I bet that is no accident. No one can deny the fact that we need to look behind, it’s just that looking forward is more important and that is why it is so big.
So, here’s the question. As you are “driving” along life’s road, which is bigger, your windshield or your rearview mirror? I know many folks spend more time looking back than looking forward and that can lead to a pretty hair-raising ride. You see the rearview mirror in your car is not designed to be the primary place you look. It is designed for an occasional glance. Well, that is true in life. The rearview mirror in our life is there, it is designed, to glance back. We savor the good times and smile as we remember them. We wince at some of the more unwise decisions but remember the lessons we learned. Yup…it is profitable until it is all that we look at.
Living with our eyes glued to the rearview mirror of life is a dangerous thing. If we live staring at all the past good days, we will some become discontent with the present. If we live staring at all the past failures and flops, we will soon become discouraged and depressed. It’s just what happens when we stare at the past and ignore the present and future. Paul, in the Bible, gives us some great advice. He admitted that while he hadn’t figured it all out, he had learned one thing. He said we should leave the past in the past and reach out for the future. And trust me…that is really, good advice.
A guy named Brian Simmons says, “The time before us is not one of gloom and doom; it will be instead the best and most adventurous time of our lives. The best for God’s people lies not in the past, buried in Scripture somewhere. It’s yet to come. Let’s not allow fear to defeat us.” Right on Brian, Right on. Remember, don’t fear the future just because it is unknown. You see, there is a God who knows the future and in fact, in a way we can’t understand…He’s already there. So, settle back, rest in Him and enjoy the drive. Go ahead…set the cruise…He’s got this.