Thursday, June 2, 2016

Looking Back Can Be DECEPTIVE! (Part 2)

"Looking Back Can Be DECEPTIVE! (Part 2)"
 In my last article I began discussing the basic premise behind the title of this "mini-series" that will continue into the next article. If you haven't done so, go back and read the last article as well as listen to the podcast that goes along with it. The links for both iTunes and the RSS feed can be found at the bottom of this article. Take a moment and do that first so that you can be properly "set" for what we will continue with today.

The basic idea is this: Many times we can "look back" at a time period in our past and do so with fond memories when, actually, at the time, there was nothing going on that we would ever want to remember fondly. Get the point?

I want to share with you a PERFECT illustration of this that comes from the Bible and it is found in the Old Testament book of Exodus, chapter 14. Have you ever seen the old movie, "The Ten Commandments" with Charlton Heston in the leading role as Moses? A good part of the movie deals with the time period of when Moses was sent to lead the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt. They were enduring horrible conditions as slaves and God sent Moses to lead His people out of slavery and into freedom. In Exodus 14, we find that this large group had left their slavery and were on their way to freedom when Pharaoh changed his mind about letting them go and began to chase them down. As his army got closer to the group of Israelites, they thought they were trapped when they came upon the Red Sea. They saw no way out and began to moan and complain to Moses that he should have left them alone for (verse 12), "It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness!" They were saying that, as horrible as it was, they would have rather STAYED in Egypt and live as slaves, in horrible conditions, that to die in freedom.

Of course, if you know the story (if you don't, just continue reading from verse 12) then you know that God delivered His people from that situation. But, the point is this: Even though they had been free for only a very short time, they were already "looking back", desiring to go back.

Why? Because they were AFRAID OF WHAT WAS BEFORE THEM! 

Is it possible that the same is true for you and me today? I mentioned in my last podcast that, many times, we find ourselves longing for the "good old days" during times of difficulty. Often, when we run into obstacles and experience "failure" we want to run back to those times that we remember fondly when, again, at the time, they may not have been so pleasant after all. 

Why? Because, in our own minds, it is easier (and we THINK it's "safer") to go back to what we knew (even if it wasn't so good - like the Israelites in slavery) than it is to face difficulty and the unknown of the future.  

May I share another verse from the Bible that addresses this point? I promise, I'm not going to get all "preachy" on you. Notice these words that you can find in the New Testament book of Luke 9:62 - "But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” The idea presented here is exactly the same one that we discussed about the Israelites back in the book of Exodus. For Christians, Jesus Christ has "set us free" from the "slavery and bondage" of sin! We're free! So, why would anyone "look back" and desire the former life of slavery and bondage? Those that do so are not "fit" for the "kingdom of God" for they do not trust Jesus and the promise of a better future, just as the Israelites did not trust God and His promise to them of a better future. 

By the way, did you know that you can't plow a straight row if you are looking back? That's true whether you are plowing behind a horse or sitting behind the wheel of a tractor! 

In the same way, you cannot focus on your future and "take care of business" if you are always looking back. It just won't work and friend, remember, your past - whatever it is that keeps drawing your attention there - is likely not as "shiny" as it now appears! 

Hey listen, there are people that are set free from prison only to find that they feel "lost" now that they are "out on their own". And, because they find this new life difficult to adjust to, they will - at times - commit a crime just so they can go back to what they know. Yes, even though it is PRISON!

Whether you realize (or understand) this next point or not, it's still true. Most of the time, when you try to better yourself and make a move toward a better life, things get worse (or so it seems) before they get better. That's the truth, friend! We usually want things to be better overnight, instantly, at the snap of a finger but, truth be told, it doesn't quite work that way the majority of the time!

The question is this: Do you have what it takes to persevere and hang on through the tough times? I'll answer that for you, in case you aren't too sure - YES, YOU DO have what it takes! 

Stop looking back and longing for what is in the past! Your FUTURE is in FRONT of you - not behind you!

Always remember this, and I mean ALWAYS: Even if you take two steps forward and one step back, you are still making progress because you are still ONE STEP AHEAD of where you were before! That's right! Even if you get "slapped back, knocked back and/or kicked back" a step after you've moved forward - you are STILL ahead of where you were before you decided to TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR LIFE by moving FORWARD with and in your life!

And, by the way, this is also for those of you that have suffered through an abusive relationship in the past. STOP looking back thinking it wasn't as bad as you thought it was. Never! You keep moving forward with your life and DO NOT look back - you have been set FREE! I know I hit a nerve with some of you with that last part. That's o.k. and feel free to connect with me to share your thoughts, stories and comments. I will NEVER share anything with my audience unless you give me expressed consent to do so. If you need, I have a friend that went through an abusive relationship and she has her own blog that talks about some of these issues. Here's the link to that blog: - Her name is Donna and she is a life-long friend of me and my family and she has graciously agreed to let me share this link with you. Thanks, Donna!

Once again, if you haven't done so yet, you need to listen to the podcast on today's topic. Just click one of the links at the bottom of this article to do so. There is SO MUCH MORE information and additional thoughts that I share with you there that is not found in this article. 

If you listen by going to iTunes, please take a moment and leave a review - I thank you in advance! Also, be sure to stop by the FYU fan page on Facebook and let me know that you left that review AND to just say "hello" and let me know that you are benefiting from Future You University

As always, THANKS for joining me today and, please, share this with as many as possible and always be sure to keep moving forward, closer to your dream!

And, until next time, whatever you do,  be sure to...

"Make it an AWESOME day! (Who else is going to do it for you?)"


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