I can make great decisions…in hindsight. I have penetrating insight…after the consequence. I am a trusting servant…after God has brought me through a trial. I am grateful for the lesson…after I’ve learned it.
We all need to be able to glance in the rear-view mirror of our lives and see if we can make sense of where we’ve been. It’s important to see if we can use some of the information about what we’ve been through to affect the part of our life we are headed towards.
Now don’t try this at home…but trust me when I tell you that it is nearly impossible to drive safely if you only use your rear-view mirror. That is unless you are going backwards on purpose. If you intend to go forward using only that rear-view mirror, I promise that you will get a very distorted perspective of where you are and where you are going…(and maybe a dented fender)
‘I find that I am the most honest with myself after…(you fill in the blank)’
The “before” activities of your life say more about you than the “afterwards” reflections.
We can, and often do…manipulate the past to justify it. To rationalize it to ourselves or others. When that happens, we lose its value and power. When we think about it for half a minute we get it…who wants to go through some really hard time…get on the other side of it and then make a decision that will take us to the same place all over again? That is lunacy. But that is exactly what many of us do. And worse…we blame God for the circumstance we’ve created.
Granted, we can only control so much. For the believer, God often calls audibles in life. Well…what may seem like an audible to us at the time. We were headed one way then some unforeseen circumstance happens and we’re headed in a new direction.
I would suggest that God-authored change is always good. That makes sense right? But how do we know it’s God?
I’m not batting 1000 here. but I have a couple of ideas that might help…
Have you ever been in an airport with all the noise and bustle (whatever bustle is…) Bossy gate announcements assault us over the top of the din and pallor… and all of the sudden you hear your name over the loudspeaker? It’s like the PA is tuned to your frequency. “Doug Warner pick up the white courtesy phone…” Has that ever happened to you?
Or maybe as a kid you lost your way in a store and there was a moment of panic until you heard your parent’s voice calling for you. There was immediate comfort. Often our parents would tell us to “stay right where you are, I’ll come to you!” When we saw them…order came back into our little world.
We are conditioned from birth to listen for our name. When it’s called, we pay attention. When we hear our name, there is almost always important information that follows. “Doug! ” “Turn the TV down!” (or…annoying information….)
In the case of our parents…we’ve spent so much time with them that we recognize their voice right away. Their voice is unmistakable.
Hmmm…could there be a parallel here? Could it be that if we spend much time with God that we will also recognize His voice? That his voice would be unmistakable too?
You know the answer.