Keep eyes focused on road ahead, not behind

By Gerry Lewis | Published Saturday, June 23, 2018

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What’s the very best feature of the vehicle you drive most often? What feature do you wish you had?

I’ve seen advertisements lately for self-driving cars. Maybe I’m old, but that thought scares the hoo-diddle out of me. If I ever turn the driving over to any entity that cannot provide a birth certificate, heartbeat or blood sample, I’m done traveling.

I’ve driven cars with a variety of cool features, but I think the very best feature for me is a backup camera with a big dashboard screen. Mrs. Sweetie and I have three vehicles. Only one of the three has a backup camera and the screen is about 3 inches square.

We drive our vehicles until they are completely worn out, so new car envy is not on our radar. But, I have also driven enough rental vehicles that I get backup camera envy.

There are just so many things that you can’t see with the regular old rearview mirrors. So, I’ll admit it: I need and strongly want a backup camera. The next vehicle I get will have a backup camera with a big screen.

But, do you know what I will never do with said vehicle with big screen backup camera? I will never do a road trip in reverse.

There’s a reason why mirrors and backup cameras are small in comparison to windshields. Forward is the only direction that takes us to our destination.

It’s also true in life. Going backward is not an option. Even if you go back to a familiar place, you can’t go back to a previous time. A previous location can still only be a new destination.

Regrettably, too many individuals, churches, organizations, and businesses are trying to live in the past and trying to get back to what used to be, instead of letting the past inform the present and be a springboard into the future.

Trying to get to where you are going while traveling in reverse and only using your mirrors and backup cameras would prove incredibly stressful and would cause you to miss most of the scenery. Only the breadth of the windshield allows you to take in the big picture and put your trip into perspective.

That’s why I have phrased another of my life core values this way: “Focus forward – because the journey is amazing and the destination is worth the climb.”

Real life happens in climbing, not coasting. But climbing takes a lot more effort, attention, energy and intention.

The road ahead is the only road we can travel. Through the windshield, instead of the rearview mirror, we are more likely to see how much our lives matter to God and how he has invited us into the big picture of his amazing purposes for the world.

Let’s keep our eyes on the road, my friends.

Dr. Gerry Lewis, author, blogger, church consultant and leadership coach, serves as executive director of the Harvest Baptist Association in Decatur.

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