I read this anonymous quote, and it really made sense to me: “Do not dwell on the past. Your history cannot be erased, but your future has yet to be written, so make the most of what is going to happen instead of worrying about what you cannot change.” I don’t know who wrote it, but I suspect they may have gotten their inspiration from the prophet Isaiah who said: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.”1
That doesn’t mean that we should not remind ourselves where we came from, or recall mistakes we made, so we don’t do the same thing again. But it does mean that we should not let strings to the past keep us from moving forward. Attachments to people, places, or things that are now behind us and can serve no purpose in what our future holds.
In my own life, I was one week away from becoming an FBI agent at the age of 20, but my mom didn’t tell me until twenty years later that the officer came back with the offer just two days after I left to go live with my oldest sister so I could get a job. After I had enlisted in the Army, I missed one question that kept me from qualifying for Officer Training School, which would have resulted in my staying in the military much longer. I sent my doctoral dissertation to a well-known Christian publisher for publication. They liked it but requested that I rewrite it because it was too technical for the average reader. It took me long enough to compose it the way it was, I just didn’t have the time (This was before computers when all I had was an electric typewriter). Who knows what that may have led to.
But did I wonder and wrestle over what might have been to the point that it kept me from going through the doors that God did open? No! I thank God for what He did allow me to do and accomplish for His honor and glory. In fact, if someone would have told me years ago what I would be doing today at my age, I may have asked God back then to take me to heaven early.
So am I glad for what He is doing in my life, especially what I can do for others? Absolutely! In fact, I would not be where I am today if God had not kept me from hitting all those targets I missed. Don’t let the things of the past tie you to what might have been. So dream and ask God to help you become what He wants you to be and stop having nightmares over what might have been. – Dr. Robert R Seyda
1 Isaiah 43:18