So many of life’s lesson’s are learned after going through an experience, looking back on what has transpired. Our questions may go unanswered for years. The lightbulb goes off after the conversation is over. The moment passes to share a loving embrace or an ‘I love you.’ Regret. I don’t do or say something that I should have; or perhaps its the other way around, I do or say something I shouldn’t have. It’s these valuable life lessons that we learn after the fact, which can provide a way for us to do things differently in the future. Often, its looking in the rear-view mirror that gives us a different perspective. It’s a different view of life.
But staring into the rear-view mirror, living in the past, with the “what if” questions can keep us from ever moving forward. The woulda, shoulda, coulda statements can cause some trouble. It does for me. My dad is really great at reminding me about when I “should on myself”. “I should do this or that.” “I should have done…” You get the idea. It’s not the true kind of life I want to live, or exemplify for my children and family. It is the the difference between living in the past, living in the future, or choosing to live in the present.
While driving home on the highway last week, I had a funny thought about my rear-view mirror. While driving, the rear-view mirror is a powerful tool. And living life, looking back can be a powerful tool. A powerful tool keeping us in the past, or a powerful tool as we move forward. However, just like driving, we are to face forward and drive straight ahead.
What a gift to be able to take a glance and see what’s behind me! It was a great feeling, being able to grip the steering wheel and move forward with confidence and power. I could take a glance in rear-view mirror, but I wasn’t going to live looking back. It was physically impossible to live in the present while looking back.
Rear-view mirror living requires us to sit still and unmoving, or it can send us sailing into a ditch. Upon graduation from high school, I’d heard people say our their best years were behind us. How sad? I’m excited about the years ahead! In my experience, it just keeps getting better and better! I’m grateful for the rear-view mirror in life, it’s a powerful tool; but I’m looking ahead, griping the steering wheel and rolling the windows down for a wild ride! It’s been that thus far, and I’m coming to a place where I don’t expect anything less.