Are you holding on to your past as you ride for God? Here’s what to do.

by Kevin on October 7, 2010

An old cowboy once told me that if you want to be sure you are going in the right direction, you have to look back at where you’ve been.

He told this to me as we were riding away from the truck and trailer on our way to a windmill. We were riding over there to see if there were any cattle that had gone to the mill for an early drink of water. About halfway to the mill, he turned to me and asked if we were riding directly toward the mill. I told him that I thought we were. He told me to turn around and look at where we had started.

I turned, expecting the truck and trailer to be directly behind us, and to my astonishment, our starting point was way off to the right.

I could have sworn that we were going straight toward the windmill.

He could see the puzzled expression on my face and that’s when he told me, “If you want to be sure of where you are going, you have to turn around every once in a while and make sure of where you’ve been. A glance is all you need to stay the straight course. If you focus too much on where you’ve been, you can’t see where you are goin’. But if you don’t ever turn around, you will get off course. You won’t be able to tell, but you will stray to the left or right just a little bit as you ride along.”

We do this as we ride towards Christ. We figure out where we need to go, but many people try to ride toward that goal while they are turned around in their saddle looking back at where they’ve been. We remember the mistakes we’ve made and how we used to live. We strive to reach the glory land, all the while looking back and remembering our past.

There is a fine line to ride. We must not dwell on our past, for that guilt will keep us from reaching the windmill by the straight course that Christ has asked us to ride. But we must also take a look back every once in a while and see where we were so that we can continue on the path that was chosen for us.

Philippians 3:13

but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,

Some might say that this says that we should never look back, but even Paul in Philippians 3:5-6, talked about his past and how far he had come.

I hear of cowboys and cowgirls of all ages that are holding on to guilt for the sins that have been forgiven by Christ. We choose to hold on to this guilt.

Today, be thankful for that forgiveness and forget about your past mistakes. You can glance back at where you’ve been, but only do so that you will not make the same mistakes and get off course as your ride toward that heavenly goal.

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