I am not good with change and I never have been. It is not that I believe change to be a bad thing, it is necessary. It is just uncomfortable. Over the past week or two I have been made aware of how much I pine for the past. The days where life was more fun and had a simpler structure to them, it has left me feeling unfulfilled. It has made me complacent and less imaginative. The ambitions that I had, have taken a back seat. I am unhappy with how my present situation is… living back in a town I said I would not come back to. Plans not working in my favour. Instead of pushing myself on I have just accepted this is my fate, so I have just settled.
I have become annoyed with myself because of becoming so complacent and living in the past, meant that I was not living at all. Over the past few weeks I have started making lists of ambitions I want to achieve, applying for new jobs and making plans to move out of this town. I am ambitious to want to do this in the next few months. I have faith that if I am proactive then there is always possibility. It may not work out in my time frame, but I trust that in time it will all fall into place.
It made me think of how dangerous it is for us to live in the past. How much of our lives that we miss because we are not present? If you constantly chose to live in the past and allow that to define you, then I think we miss the point of living. I wanted to look at some Bible characters who could have lived in the past. However, they allowed their present circumstance to define them.
Firstly, Joseph. The beloved son out of twelve brothers and the highly favoured by his father. He was also the one who had dreams where he would rise above his family, He was hated so much by his brothers that they sold him to some travellers. Who then sold him into slavery in Egypt, into a land that was completely different from all that Joseph knew. All that Joseph knew was torn away from him by one cruel act of hate. Joseph could have chosen to get distressed and give up. Instead, he chose to keep his faith in God. Through all the highs and lows: slavery, accused of sexual assault, imprisonment and famine and he chose to keep God at the for front. In continuously moving forwards, Joseph was able to accomplish so much including saving many nations from starvation. It even ends with Joseph being reconciled with his brothers and father.
But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” (Genesis 50:19-20)
If Joseph had not been so faithful, and lived in his past how would these things have been accomplished?
Another figure is Saul/Paul. He was known as the persecutor of the early church, who then became one of the key figures in spreading the gospel around the world. He was so influential because he was faithful to the promises of God. He still met with opposition because of who he was in the past. Ananias who was asked by God to got to Saul to return his sight, which he has lost during his conversion. Ananias is reluctant to go because of Saul’s reputation. The Lord replies ‘Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and to their Kings and to the people of Israel! (Acts 9:15-16).God had big plans for Saul which would not have been fulfilled if his past had defined him. Paul suffered greatly in spreading the gospel, he never let that stop him. He knew the redemption and salvation of the love of God and he wanted others to know it too. Many of the letters found within the New Testament are Paul’s instructions to the early churches so they could continually build up their faith and know the truth. Paul was continuously present in each situation, using his past only as an instrument to encourage and support others.
Paul is an amazing example of how our past does not define us in the eyes of God. If we are willing and faithful, then God can use us in amazing ways. There are so many examples found within the Bible of people whose past could have defined them. I encourage you to read through these stories and find inspiration from them. I truly believe that God has so much planned for our lives. This is his promise to us through his word. I do think we need to continue dreaming big dreams. God has made us so creative, we should be using those to bring more people to know the salvation of Jesus. Using our pasts to encourage and build up people, letting them know they are not alone.
Getting so lost in my past stopped me from being who I was meant to be and pursuing the things I love. That is not going to be the case anymore. The present is not a scary thing anymore because it is in the time in which I get to develop who I am. The past was fun, and it will help me to become the person I am but it no longer has a hold on me like is use to. The past few months have not been easy, but it is about doing what I can to continuously pursue what I love.
May you have a blessed week. xx