Driving Forward, Looking Backward

Now it happened as they journeyed on the road, that someone said to Him, "Lord, I will follow You wherever You go." And Jesus said to him, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of man has nowhere to lay His head."

Then He said to another, "Follow Me." But he said, "Lord, let me first go and bury my father." Jesus said, "Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God."

And another also said, "Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house." But Jesus said to him. "No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God." Luke 9:57-62
As we read these verses in our Bible time, I explained to my children what they meant - that following Christ means now, not later...

Regardless of whether or not our friends and family follow Him...

And focusing on the path ahead instead of being hindered and held back by the sins of our past, the hurts of our past, anything that should remain in the past. 

I asked them what would happen if you were plowing with one of those old horse-drawn plows, but you kept looking behind you at where you've already been. They offered some pretty good suggestions. "Would the row be straight?" I wondered.
"Just like your car accident, Mom." My daughter said.

I hadn't thought of that. When I was a young driver, I was fiddling with the cassette player in my car - either it was stuck, or I was simply trying to switch it for another one.

I thought that I was driving straight.

I thought that I had only looked away for a moment.

The next thing I new, I was in a very deep ditch on the other side of the road with the front end of my car pressed deep into the dirt and an uncomfortable whiplash.

"Exactly!" I said. "What a great example!"

"You're welcome." said my daughter.

I thought of how many times in life we drive forward while looking backward. We get hung up on the sins that we are unable to forgive in ourselves - even if we understand that they have been forgiven by the Righteous and Holy God. We nurse wounds that have been afflicted upon us by others, often allowing a root of bitterness to grow in those wounds and never quite healing.

We live life fully affected by what should be past history, as if it were still happening and relevant to us today.

The workers that Jesus needs for His kingdom are those who are ready right now to leave anyone and anything that holds us back. To purpose ourselves, take hold of that plow, and plow a straight course.

"Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil." Proverbs 4:25-27
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