Music is so powerful. When I hear a song, it brings memories of people and events from the past. The lyrics can also take me to past experiences, some good and some bad. When I listen to praise music, my past sins and mistakes often play in my head, but Jesus’ sacrifice often brings tears to my eyes at the same time.
It’s very tempting for us to live in the past. Most of us do … replaying old scenes in our minds, fighting old battles, holding grudges for past hurts, limiting ourselves because of past mistakes. But most of all, we find ourselves spending so much energy reliving past scenarios, again and again. Here’s the sad part … the past is over.
The second most common place for our minds to linger … is the future. Our minds are filled with hopes, fantasies … and fears for the future. Like the shadows of the past, the visions of the future are not real. Both the pains of our past and the fears of our future (even tomorrow) take up huge amounts of our time and mind-space. We become prisoners of our own selves. Most importantly, these images take us away from the place where we can have the greatest effect on our reality: the present.
How foolish we are to squander our only opportunity to affect reality, the present, by spending so much effort on our useless fears of the future, and old wounds and scars from the past. I am not saying we don’t remember and study the past, or don’t plan for the future. But those activities should help us focus on and maximize what we do in the present. If you are looking back realistically to become a good steward of your mind and decisions in the present, perfect. If you are looking back and letting the past distort your view of God, yourself, or your present circumstances, you’ll find that is where Satan wants you, and he will eat you for dinner.
Today, when your mind drifts forward or backward on your personal timeline, examine the motivation and return of that endeavor. Usually, you need to find a way to get back to the present. Remember that God actually defined himself with the statement, “I AM.” This statement tells us that God is the timeless Present. One of the most important spiritual exercises is to live in the present, which is to live in reality.
Dear Father, I come to You in thanksgiving for the wisdom of Your scripture. I’m guilty of constantly escaping the present and wasting time and energy on the past. Help me release and let go of the past. Help me, once and for all, forgive those who have hurt me, for I know it is the lack of my final forgiveness that keeps my mind locked in the past. Help me heal, Lord; help me stop scratching at old sores; help me stop seeking relief by fantasizing about the future. I stop my mind from wandering and I focus on You, my Lord, for You are the true revealer of my reality, and I know it is only in the present that I can find You. I pray this in the name of my reality foundation, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: “I AM has sent me to you.”