Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Salty thoughts

Things have been tough for us often lately, just as I know they have been for just about everyone. I must admit, it's been tempting at times to look back. There is a sweet little house in Ohio with no one in it, and swings in the back yard. There are dear loved ones who are missed. It was a life that could easily have gone on forever...we were in an easy pattern there. Though we faced many challenges there, everyday life itself was an easy, plodding, day-in-day-out course. But we wanted to grow and progress, so we chose to break out of it and change everything. And I don't regret it.

But there are those nights when things are so hard and when we are so tempted...when we look at each other and say, "We'll just deal with the drudgery and that we knew we'd face if we never changed...let's go back."

But, though it's so tempting, we know in our hearts that we want to progress, to grow, to become everything our Father wants us to be. But that is never so easy.

What an answer to prayer when I felt prompted to listen to a BYU devotional this week. Elder Holland spoke this month at that guy. :)

He spoke about Lot's wife. As soon as I heard that, my ears perked up. The little Lot's wife in my heart did, too. I wanted to write a few of the thoughts that touched me from his talk. You can find the entire talk here.

In short, her attachment to the past outweighed her confidence in the future.

I plead with you not to dwell on days now gone, nor to yearn vainly for yesterdays, however good those yesterdays may have been. The past is to be learned from but not lived in. We look back to claim the embers from glowing experiences but not the ashes. And when we have learned what we need to learn and have brought with us the best that we have experienced, then we look ahead, we remember that faith is always pointed toward the future. Faith always has to do with blessings and truths and events that will yet be efficacious in our lives. So a more theological way to talk about Lot’s wife is to say that she did not have faith. She doubted the Lord’s ability to give her something better than she already had. Apparently she thought—fatally, as it turned out—that nothing that lay ahead could possibly be as good as those moments she was leaving behind.

God doesn’t care nearly as much about where you have been as He does about where you are and, with His help, where you are willing to go.

Robert Browning wrote:

Grow old along with me!
The best is yet to be,
The last of life, for which the first was made:
Our times are in His hand
Who saith, “A whole I planned,
Youth shows but half; trust God: see all, nor be afraid!”
[Rabbi Ben Ezra (1864), stanza 1]

I call out, “Remember Lot’s wife.” Faith is for the future. Faith builds on the past but never longs to stay there. Faith trusts that God has great things in store for each of us and that Christ truly is the “high priest of good things to come.”

I am so grateful for a Loving Father, who cares deeply about where I am willing to go, and is constantly working in my life to help me get there. It is a painful journey at times, but at those times, I need to remember to not focus on the is for the future. When I think of that, I find joy knowing that Matt will "grow old along with me," and that, surely, "the best is yet to be."

This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,

I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

-Philippians 3:13–14


Chantile said...

I needed that today :)

I love you!

kannie said...

I've thought about that, too... having an eye single to the glory of God - that's ahead of us, and moving forward. And we can only look in one direction at a time. It's hard to keep our focus, though... what great thoughts to share! Thank you!

Jason said...

The hardest parts in my whole life has been dealing with those things that should be forgotten. I have struggled with so much over the years and this is the very thing that helps lift my spirits when needed the most. Thank you so much Ann for your fantastic post, I too, love Elder Holland . He is probably my favorite to listen to, His voice is very comforting and soothing to the down hearted.

Tara and Dan said...

oooh good point. I have a bad habit of "past-seeking." It's so easy to fall into that trap! You rock :)