Overcoming the past and living life forward

Published 12:57 pm Wednesday, May 24, 2023

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A recent conversation with a new friend left me with a thought-provoking analogy.

During a season when he met with people seeking freedom from addiction, he passed out spiral notebooks in which he had his young son scribble on the first five pages. Each man in the group was given a notebook and asked to look through it.

“Does anyone want to keep their notebook?” he asked.

They all said they would keep theirs.

“Why would you keep it? What would you do with a notebook that has a few pages already scribbled on?”

One man answered, “I’m going to throw away those pages and write on the rest.”

“Are you going to go back to the trash and pull those scribbled pages out later?” my friend continued.

“Why would I do that? I’m just going to use the rest of the notebook.”

“Then why do you sit here, reliving your mistakes over and over? You’ve asked God to forgive you, and you have the rest of your life, like the rest of this clean notebook, just waiting to be lived out. Why are you still digging your past out of the trash? It’s time to leave your past in the past and move on to the future God has for you. Don’t place more value in a $.25 notebook than you’ve placed in your life.”

The story reminded me of God’s message to the Israelites in Isaiah 43:18, 19, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.”

Ronny Michel  can be reached at rmichel@rtconline.com.