Newsletter - Chips Off The Rock - June 2021
Looking forward, the time passes slowly. We can’t wait for the next best thing. Looking backward, the years vanish into memories. We think: if only we could recapture those moments of perceived perfection.
I am 66 and a few months, a reality about which I am reminded every time I get up from sitting on the floor to fix something. And then I recall that a while back I could bound up easily from the grass. Almost like defying gravity to keep me down. Ah! Yes! Let’s have that back, please!
Memorial Day was originally created to recall the soldiers who died in the American Civil War, and all subsequent wars. These days it also represents the beginning of summer. We eat hot dogs and buy stuff on sale. We try to put the winter months behind us and launch into the warmth of summer. The warriors of our history fade into memory even as the voice of Frank Sinatra causes us to wonder about the glory of the 1950s or ‘40s or ‘60s when we were free from the encumbrances of today.
The Bible offers lots of stories about our spiritual ancestors as they lived in relationship with God. They often refer to the great things God did for them in the past. And yet, that memory does not enslave them to that former time. The prophet Isaiah, the apostle Paul, and Jesus have a few thoughts about moving forward in faith:
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
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: 13-14
Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:62
As we emerge from this year of encumbrances we might lift our eyes to the heavens and ask what new reality God has planned for us. Where will we be in another year? Looking backward might be somewhat useful and comforting, but going forward is the only choice we really have. May God’s blessing be with us all.