Several people recently wrote, and used a lot of ink telling me, of their past. These folks are new friends and felt the need to share some sordid facts with me concerning the yesterdays of their life. I really could care less about such things in the matter of choosing a friend, which I do rather cautiously, having paid a serious price for failing in this area.
On the other hand, in the matter of choosing co-workers such knowledge of someone’s yesterday is imperative if for no other reason than to avoid lawsuits, and also proper placement in the organizational chart.
In many situations a person’s yesterdays are of more concern to them than to me or others. So far this article is referring to yesterdays you may really want to forget. God knows I have my share, which, due to several applicable verses, are forgotten by the Lord Jesus for which I write. PTL!
In my experience and observation, yesterdays with very good memories may be more destructive to achievement than the other kind, in that they cannot be regained, no more than you can by any shape of the imagination obliterate the negative days of yesteryear.
If we could harness the energy wasted by futile attempts to regain the proficiency of the by-gone times toward what we can do, there is no doubt in my mind we would accomplish much more in the allotted time we have left.
The past is gone.
We should have learned from it.
We should get on with using what we have now.
We can and should look forward to tomorrow.
I am certain this is what General Douglas MacArthur meant when he wrote:
“I had learned one of the bitter lessons of life: never try to regain the past, the fire will have become ashes.”
By God’s grace we can learn to use the three time periods in life, the past, learn from it, the present, and use it wisely, and for the future plan how to use now to create a brighter future.
Three years ago my mother left the surly bonds of earth and kissed the face of God. While back in the town I grew to manhood in I visited the site of the old home place. I was amazed at the barren wilderness it had become. The shacks and homes of my childhood were gone; the scene was barren of any evidence of anything made by man having ever decorated the landscape. The place was a flood plain. Homeland Security bought the properties and destroyed them, relocating the residents to higher ground. As I stood there I recalled the old saying of The Bard of Avon:
“Whereof what’s past is prologue, what to come
in yours and my discharge.”
William Shakespeare, The Tempest, act II, scene i, lines 253–54. Antonio is speaking.
“What’s past is prologue” is carved on the National Archives Building, Washington, D.C.
The past is a building block of knowledge, often of knowing the difference between good and evil.
Dr. Tom Wallace often shared an account of a very wealthy and wise man, being interviewed by a young reporter who asked him the secret of his success. The wise man answered simply, “Good Judgment.” The reported then asked, “How do you learn to have good judgment?” The wise man answered, “Experience.” The reporter then asked, “And how do you get experience?” To which the wise man answered: “Poor judgment!”
Take a look at yesterday and learn the lesson. Now get busy for the present is all we have to actually work for Christ, for the night is coming.
I take heart from the experience and wisdom of Paul who wrote:
“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14.
It’s time to give up on a redo of yesterday, for it has turned to ashes and in God’s dealing with you, is no longer a factor, so use today in God’s will and look forward to the greater day ahead.
Copyright © 2014 Larry Lilly
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