Compared to the windshield of your car, the rear view mirrors are small. The reason is obvious. If the goal is to reach your destination safely and accident-free, you must spend more time looking at the road in front of you rather than where you’ve already been.
Yet, we still need a rearview mirror for a number of reasons. It shows us where we came from and that we’re not there anymore. It also shows us if anything dangerous is coming up behind us so we can avoid getting hit. But our main focus should be looking ahead through that huge windshield.
I’m using this as an analogy of the impact our past has on our present because I believe not recognizing this truth keeps us living in the past. Although small, rear view mirrors reveal things we left in our past, so we can avoid them now and in the future. Our rearview mirror keeps us on a steadfast course to fulfill our God-given destiny.
What person would think of driving without a rear view mirror? But in life, we often choose to ignore the past and repeat the same mistakes. We remain unaware of how the past is still affecting us. Especially as Christians we’ve bought into the thought: I’m a Christian now, so that’s in the past. I don’t go there anymore. Sure, these things happened in the past, but guess what! If they’re constantly showing up in your lifestyle they’re still in the present!
On the other hand, some people live their whole life focused on the past. That’s all they talk, think and complain about. Because their review mirror is bigger than their front windshield, they’re consumed with the past and they miss God’s destiny that lies in front of them.
When we drive, we only look through our rear view mirror when changing lanes, making a turn, or when starting a journey. The same should be true in life. When starting on our new journey with Jesus, our past should be behind us not a passenger in the front seat.
How often do we have to wait to change lanes or turn because we saw another car fast approaching us when we checked our rear view mirror? We knew we had to deal with that issue first before we could safely move on. I’m sure that failing to check the rear view mirror is the cause of many accidents—some of them fatal.
So let’s evaluate our life by looking in the rear view mirror, making sure we’re not doing the same things or making the same foolish decisions. If we try to avoid facing our past we give it power to overtake our future.
Keep your rear view mirror small, but check it from time to time. See if old habits, speech patterns or attitudes and perceptions have crept back into your life. Make needed adjustments before going forward with your life changes.
Next, make sure that your windshield is big enough! Keep God’s vision and dreams clearly before you as the major focus in your life. Yes, check that rear view mirror, but make sure your eyes are on the road in front of you. You’ll never reach a destination you cannot see.