This past weekend we turned my youngest child’s car seat around, so she is now facing forward instead of to the rear.
It is something to watch as a child becomes accustomed to their new perspective. My daughter did lots of oohing and aahing as she was able to see, for the first time, out of the front window. The AC hitting her in the face made her laugh and smile.
I noticed she was much more talkative than she had been when facing rearward. Of course, that only makes sense, since she could now see me and her mother sitting in front of her. She did a good bit of pointing and looking around.
In short, she was acclimating herself to her new point of view. It was different. It was exciting. Soon, of course, the excitement and newness will wear off and she will forget all about those “rearward-facing” days of her infancy. This new perspective will soon become the norm; one which she will have for the rest of her life.
But, for now, it is not mundane. It is not common; for her, it is a new world. It is fresh and inspiring.
I even said to my wife, she has spent her life, to this point, looking where she had been; but now, she was watching where she was going.
Quite a difference in perspective isn’t it?
It caused me to think.
I wondered how many of us spend our time looking back at where we have been, instead of looking forward to where we are headed?
Too often, if we are not careful, we find ourselves living in the past. Memories become sacred and nostalgia becomes our dominating mindset. The past is easy. It’s the whole hindsight is 20/20 aspect.
After all, I know what happened back then. There are no unexpected turns or twists. It’s like watching a movie many times over. I already know the ending. I already know how it flows, how it ends. I know all the surprises and plot twists.
In short, it is safe.
The future . . . not so much. The future is packed full of the unknown. It is full of the unexpected. It is not safe.
Too often, we live our lives living facing rearward. God calls us to turn the seat around and face toward the front. He calls us to face the future. He calls us to watch where we are headed, not to dwell on where we have been. It’s not that we are to forget the past, indeed we are not, but we are not to pitch our tent there.
We can learn from the past. We can commemorate the past. We can celebrate successes and blessings from the past. But, we are to be forward-facing creatures.
Our hope is in a Savior who lives, not who lived once upon a time. Yes, we look back to the cross and resurrection and celebrate. But our hope does not end there. Our hope is ahead. It is cast into the future. God did not say good-bye or farewell with the close of the Bible. God is still active.
So look forward. Look ahead. Turn that seat around and face the windshield and see what God has in store. Face the future by trusting God and allow him to lead you toward the horizon.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. (Jer. 29.11)