Here is my article that was in today’s local newspaper:
Last year is now our past. Even a minute ago is in our past. Everything that has happened is over and done with. We can’t bring it back, nor can we change one moment of it. We keep the past alive through our thoughts. Yet why do we hold onto something that only exists in our minds? In actuality we have a new canvas. In the world of an artist, that presents a wonderful creative challenge.
I am sure that we can all agree our past year of 2020 was difficult beyond words. The COVID pandemic hit worldwide. No one was prepared for such radical life-altering changes.
We always have two choices. We can remain in futile thinking, or we can intentionally go forward. I like to think about the trapeze artists. They have to let go of the first bar in order to grasp the oncoming bar. If they held onto the first bar while reaching for the second bar, all manner of chaos would ensue.
A trapeze artist is very focused44. They have predetermined to let go of the first bar. Once they swing off their platform, their goal is to abandon their bar in order to fully grasp the bar coming towards them. It is one fluid motion.
The apostle Paul described it well. It is an essential lesson for a victorious life. Philippians 3:13-14 says, “Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
Can you apply Paul’s words for yourself? My take-away: as I release my past to the Lord, He will empower me to reach my present goals. It is a great perspective. Letting go of the past means that I need to continually renew my mind with the truths of God’s word.
What does the Bible say about our past? 2 Corinthians 5:17 says that the old is passed and the new has come. Let’s read these words together. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
Here is another verse. 2 Corinthians 4:2 says, “But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.”
The Lord knows what we have been through in our past. When we bury our emotional pain it goes underground, so to speak, into our unconscious. Even though it is no longer on our radar, it continually seeps into our thought processes. It affects our perceptions, what we believe about ourselves, and our actions.
The apostle Paul had a lot of pain in his past, yet he brought it before the Lord and released it all to Him. His words are amazing to me. Acts 24:16 says, “This being so, I myself always strive to have a conscience without offense toward God and men.” How could Paul say this? In his own words he said that he was the chief sinner.
Paul had a clear conscience because he did not let the past hold him back from his pursuit to serve the Lord. Thirteen books of the New Testament were written by him. They are excellent instructions for us. Many of them were written while he was imprisoned for his faith.
Let’s apply his God-given knowledge and understanding to this new year of 2021. 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 says, “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do NOT look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
This life is short, but eternity is forever. Have you settled in your heart where you will spend eternity? Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” I urge you to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior while there is still time. You have no guarantee of your next minute.