Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Blessing of Yesterday

Romans 15:4, states,” For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. “ (NIV)

It is unfortunate that many are paralyzed by the things of the past. But if the past involves success, then it is a whole different story. But most of the time, negative experiences overshadow successes. Nevertheless, whether we like it or not, time keeps on moving forward each day. It does not stop when we stop nor rewinds to make it better. Therefore, one must decide to become a prisoner of the past or use it as a springboard towards betterment of each arriving day. Let us avoid being this example, “One man said to his friend: "Say, you look depressed. What are you thinking about?" "My future," was the quick answer. "What makes it look so hopeless?""My past."

Going back to the admonition of the Scripture we are talking about, we must consciously learn to follow its prescription for enjoying the past and its lesson or totally ignore the encouragement or choose to dwell in the past and stay miserable, depressed and hopeless. However, I would strongly suggest giving the Scripture a chance to prove that what it says is right. But how does one find hope in the past? By reading it carefully, you will observe that it states “everything that was written…” It is clear that both positive and negative experiences are vital towards the future. Everything “was written to teach us…” The question is this: Did we learn anything from our past? What kind of baggage are you carrying over each day?

I believe that when we allow the Scriptures to guide us in our daily path, we will receive the necessary dosage of encouragement even in the midst of worst case scenarios with increased endurance to move on. Isn’t this what we exactly need? Looking from this perspective, there are blessings to receive from the past that are useful for today and tomorrow. Without it, we will never improve today! Being totally unaware, we have been using the past as a measurement of our success and failure today as well. Yet there are people who chose to freeze everything about in their life due to fear of committing the same mistake. This is such a sad tale!

What I propose is this: begin to turn around your current situation and start to declare your freedom from the bondage of the past and instead look and receive the blessings from it. Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe, an American pastor and a prolific writer of Christian literature states, “Do not say, "Why were the former days better than these?" You do not move ahead by constantly looking in a rear view mirror. The past is a rudder to guide you, not an anchor to drag you. We must learn from the past but not live in the past.”

Margaret Storm Jameson, the English author, once expressed the view that we all spend too much time living in the past, feeling regret for lost joy or shame for things badly done. Even when our minds turn to the future, she said, we spend an inordinate amount of time longing for it or dreading it. "The only way to live," she said, "is to accept each minute as an unrepeatable miracle . . . Work at your work. Play at your play. Shed your tears. Enjoy your laughter. Now is the time of your life."

That is why; the most important attitude to have in spite of everything that is happening to us is to have hope. What is hope? Let’s read what is written in the plaque on the wall of Golfer Arnold Palmer's office.

If you think you are beaten, you are.

If you think you dare not, you don't.

If you'd like to win but think you can't,

It's almost certain you won't.

Life's battles don't always go

To the stronger or faster man,

But sooner or later, the man who wins

Is the man who thinks he can.

Simply put, hope never pronounces “I can’t” but always declares “I can.” What do you say now?

Let’s talk again!