Satchel Paige, the winning pitcher and baseball diamond philosopher, gained a national reputation for his widely circulated rules for successful living. The most remembered of these was “Don’t look back. Something may be gaining on you.”
Satchel’s pitch to let the past be past was good advice. Too many of us allow yesterday’s failures to steal today’s joy and cancel tomorrow’s opportunities.
Does this mean we’re to voluntarily embrace total amnesia?
Of course not!
Some memories are positive, motivating and faith building. But there are also events and experiences of the past that are best forgotten. When remembered, some past blunders have negative effects on us; even producing guilt, bitterness and depression. In these cases, heeding Satchel’s “Don’t look back” can enable us to turn the page on negatives of the past and get on with faith-filled living.
Here are some examples:
Don’t Look Back At Sins That Have Been Forgiven.
Divine forgiveness through confession of our sins erases all guilt, assuring a clean slate for the future. When God forgives, he places the past behind us forever and turns away all accusing fingers.
Today, complete forgiveness can be difficult to grasp. Banks, the government and many businesses have access to great numbers of facts about us all. Computers store information regarding every late payment and difficulty in paying off a loan may haunt a prospective borrower for years, even though he has long since cleaned up the old account.
How different our Lord is!
Sins confessed are forgiven. (1 John 1:9). And no cosmic computer contains any remaining record against us.
Don’t Look Back At Defeats That Get You Down.
Only those who have never attempted tough tasks have escaped failure. And it is far better to try and fail than not to try at all.
Don’t Look Back At Decisions That Can’t Be Changed.
Some live their lives in “if only” land, constantly second-guessing themselves, wondering how things would have turned out if they had chosen a different fork in the road, but such wishful thinking is a waste of time. God loves us and promises to meet us where we are in spite of past blunders. Responding to His love will make the future better than the past and wherever our present path leads, He’ll be with us all the way.
Don’t Look Back At Old Conflicts That Make You Bitter
Looking back to old conflicts can resurrect enmities that had supposedly been put away. Thinking through a bitter confrontation can spoil a perfectly good day.
In spite of all his struggles and accomplishments, Paul, the apostle, chose to forget the things that were past lest they hinder his present progress toward the goal of being what God wanted him to be (Philippians 3:13-14).
How about you and me?