learn from the past

i’ll start off by saying its been awhile since i’ve written.  thats for a few reasons, actually.  one, i’ve been busy with school and work.  both consume about 12 to 13 hours of my day 5 days a week, so by the time i get home, i’m tired.  second, i haven’t really felt inspired by anything lately.  and if i write something that mentions God or Jesus or something that is faith based, i try to take it as seriously as possible.  i won’t just come here to write something that has no heart or thought behind it just to crank out another blog.  i prefer my blog to have some form of meaning and thought.  with that being said, let me begin.

i know you’ve heard people say “hey, don’t live in the past” or “don’t look back, it does no good.  look toward the future!”.  i’ve definitely heard people say this to others and to me as well.  and i agree with it, but to a certain extent.

here is why i agree with it.  i agree that one should not live in the past constantly.  its poisonous to the body.  living in the past will prevent you from growing.  it will prevent you from realizing what you have right in front of you.  lets say you had a really great relationship with some guy or girl a few years back, but they broke it off.  now you’re stuck comparing every guy/girl you’re with to the person that left you years ago.  all because you keep yourself in the “good times”.  another example is if you went through a traumatic experience at some point in your life.  now you use that experience as an excuse for why “life isn’t good” right now.  you tell yourself that “well so-and-so really hurt me, and i don’t know if i can learn to trust anyone else.” there are a ton of examples, but this isn’t my main focus.

so basically, living in the past and coming up with excuses only holds you back and prevents you from maturing, growing and experiencing life and everything it has to offer.  that is why i agree with the aforementioned quotes.

now here is why i don’t agree with it, and the purpose of this writing.  there is a difference in looking in the past and living in the past.  if you look in the past too often, you start to live in it.  now if you look in the past every once in awhile, its ok, but only if its for good reasons and not for ill purposes like feeling sorry for yourself or remembering someone who has long moved on.

looking back on your past is good, and can be good for you.  yesterday i was at work and doing a lot of thinking (which i do a lot there) and started to realized where i’ve come from and where i am now.  it was a pretty humbling experience.  i stood there just thinking of some of the stuff i’ve been through and was kind of amazed at how i’ve made it through.  i also thought that i didn’t make it through on my own and definitely not on my own strength, and  the only reason i’ve made it through anything in my life is strictly because of God and His grace.  and that is why i am writing this.  if you look back on your past and see all the stuff you went through and how you made it out alive, you start to realize just how much God has been working in your life.

coming from personal experience, when i’ve been through really crappy situations, i find it extremely hard to see God at work.  its as if He suddenly becomes silent when you cry out.  you feel abandoned, unwanted.  you start feeling sorry for yourself.  and since you’re human, you’ve been through this. but even though it sucks at that moment, its a glorious life experience that you cannot get anywhere else.

i’m 27 years old.  i’ve been through some pretty lame stuff in my time here on earth.  and to be cliché for a minute, i wouldn’t trade it for anything.  and the reason is because of being able to look back at my life and see God at work during those times.  and yes, there are some things i’ve been through that God hasn’t revealed to me just yet as to why i was put through those seasons of life.  and He may never reveal the reason for those seasons of life.  and i’m ok with that.  looking back and being able to see God in those rough patches puts a smile on my face and makes it all worth it.

this may sound kind of crazy, and it should because it sounds crazy to me, but i look forward to the bad seasons of life.  i don’t look forward to them because i enjoy it, but instead because i know God is bringing me through this with good intentions in His eyes.  if you look at bad circumstances with the mentality that God only does things on your behalf to build you up and mature you, and not to harm you, then you realize just how great the bad can be.  fitness legend jack lalanne said this: “I work out for two hours every morning, seven days a week — even when I’m traveling. I hate it. But I love the result! That’s the key, baby!”  i believe that exemplifies just what i mentioned.  it sucks to go through it, but the outcome is glorious!

i hope this made some sense.  its a bit lengthy and scattered so if you made it this far, congratulations and thank you.  so i’ll close with this: look back on your past to learn from it, see where God has brought you from, and to better yourself.  if you learn to appreciate the tough times and know they only build you up and make you stronger, you’ll realize just how good God is to you and it will fill your heart with joy!

good night and i love you.