Recently, I started a discussion on life application lessons from art of driving. If you have not read the part one, you can read it here first – Life Application Lessons From Art of Driving (Part 1).
Another very important environment of a driver is the back view. Let us look at the significance of this as it pertains our lives.
The back view (Past): “… forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before”, Phil 3:13
Another important direction that drivers will not ignore is the back view. He ensure that the vehicle coming behind is identified, well understood- the condition and the speed, and kept at a reasonable distance. The driver ensures that the back view is well covered.
This is achieved by the use of the available mirrors. He intermittently checks the side mirrors as well as the centre mirror. He understands that the mirror is not for decoration but for use. Drivers will never view the back for a long time, immediately he glance at the back, he looks away from the mirror and keep his attention towards the destination. It must also be remembered that the back view could also be part of the places he had covered earlier.
The implication of this is that everyone has the future before him, lives in the present and has left the past behind. The back view could be very rough or smooth, yet the driver only look at it for a short while.
In like manner, we are not expected to dwell much on the past. The past could be of several failures, misfortunes of the past or the successes, achievements and the moments of joy recorded in the journey of life. It is alarming to see how people are being haunted by their past!
God understood the danger of dwelling in the past and He told His children “Do not (earnestly) remember the former things; neither consider the things of old” (Isaiah 43:18). The old thing does not give room for the new thing. He further assured them that if they forget the former things “I am doing a new thing…”.
DANGERS OF DWELLING IN THE PAST
It must however be noted that the emergency of the new things that God promised them in hanging on their ability and readiness to forget the former things any longer. This is simply because dwelling on the past experience kills the present and deprive one of an expected future. No wonder God sounded the note of warning to His children never to remember the old things because He will do a new thing.
Living in the past prevents new things from happening. When one dwells much on past successes or achievements, he will be puffed up and pride will set in. nothing destroys more than pride. No one dwelling much on the achievements of the past will make any progress in life. The successes and achievements are supposed to be guides to the future achievements and not destinations on their own.
Nebuchadnezzar walked upon the walls of Babylon and watched the nations that he had conquered. This puffed him up not giving glory to God (Daniel 4:31). Goliath dwelt on his past victories and started cursing David, it was his pride that brought him down (1Samuel 17:41-43).
Herod dwelt on his oratory success, he was puffed up with pride and knocked down by an Angel of God (Acts 2:21-23). The foolish rich man dwelt much on his success and left God out of his success story. He glorified himself and was killed on the same night (Luke 12:16-20).
On the other hand, David flashed back to the killing of the bear and the lion, this does not only keep him standing but also strengthened his faith (1Samuel 17:34-37). With that he achieved a greater success by killing Goliath.
Beware of how you are handling your success. The achievements recorded in the ministry, academics, business, family, etc. should only be an anchor to hold on that God is still able to do it again and again and again, (Ephesians 3:20).
One more thing that should be viewed with the mirror of the present is the failures of the past so that one can keep his progress alive and not fall into the same error committed in the past.
“Sees a man dwelling on his failures, he will be depressed and cannot stand on his feet”.
Failures are unpleasant but unavoidable in having groundbreaking achievements. It teaches how things should be done and shows that there is still a better way to achieve something. It should also be known that God brings His beautiful situations out of human ugliness.
David was a warrior, a man of prayer and praise, encourager of many and a man after the heart of God. When his city was invaded and suffered the loss of his family and belongings, sat down and wept. As he was weeping, he was losing strength gradually until there was no strength for him again, he entered into a state of depression. A depressed man is a calamity waiting to happen. In many parts of the world, there are cases of people committing suicide. This is an aftermath of depression, resulting from dwelling in the past. When David came back to himself, he called upon God and all he had lost were restored, 1Samuel 30:8.
As long as the prodigal son was dwelling on the past, he was going down the more with several unbearable experiences. His case was so worse that he would have taken the feed meant for swine but he was not given. He arose from the depressed state, returned home to his father and was joyfully welcome home, Luke 15:16-20.
What could your back view be? Successes and various achievements? Look at them intermittently, give the glory to God and trust Him for more. It could also be that of holy and righteous living, fervency before God, being upright and faithful to God, this must not into you as it does in the case of the Pharisee, Luke 18:11-12.
Perhaps, yours is that of failures and disappointments, it is never a reason to give up but to have the courage to make attempts again and again. Various inventions we are enjoying in the world today came out of doggedness and relentless efforts. Failure is never the end of the road, it opens the opportunity to try again.
Yours could as well be that of waywardness and sinfulness. You might have disappointed God severally, yet his hands are opened wide to receive you and His eyes are welcoming you. Peter looked at his “back view” and had a Godly sorrow, he wept bitterly and repented but he didn’t dwell on it, Luke 22:61-62, but Judas dwelt on his and died shamefully, Acts 1”17-19.
The journey of life to a reasonable destination is available to only a focused, determined, resilient and goal-minded “driver”. Keep your goals alive and the destination is achievable.