ARE YOU LOOKING BACK TO A CITY YOU HAVE LEFT?
Have you ever allowed yourself to focus on the past – on what you left behind? More specifically, have you ever left a job or a volunteer position, maybe, knowing full well that God was leading you somewhere else and then found yourself continually thinking about how “easy” it would be for you if you had stayed in that position – the position that you knew you were supposed to leave?
Oh, what a tangled web we weave when we deceive ourselves by what “was” and then torment ourselves with what could of, should of, would have been had we stayed in “the good o’l days.” The ironic thing is that deep down, we know that when we were in those days, we did not perceive them to be all “good,” and we prayed that God would lead us out, only to find ourselves looking back on what was because we are afraid of all that we don’t know now. Did you follow all that? I’m simply trying to say that when we find ourselves continually looking back on what we left, we can’t receive the blessing that awaits us to receive it - now.
Consider Lot’s wife. The Angel of the Lord told them not to look back at the city they were leaving or they would turn into a pillar of salt. Lot’s wife looked back (Genesis 19:26). Why is there such a powerful lull to look back? We do the same today in many ways. We play around with and ponder the past to the point of indulging in the thickness of regret. Ultimately, when we do this, our emotions get the better of us, piling heap upon heap of regret or a million made up versions of what could have been.
When I left my job as a legal assistant to pursue my education, I looked back many times, even considering how I might return so that I could get that full-time paycheck and all the comforts that came with it back. I even had family and friend say, “Can you call them and get your job back?” I considered it many times. It wasn’t until I quit looking back that I quit considering how to quit the goal that I was currently pursuing. The more I looked back, the less relevant earning my doctorate in clinical psychology became; the less important it became to create a family friendly clinic where the entire family could be served.
Further, the more I looked back, the harder what I was doing became. The lull to look back became bigger and more powerful than my ability to accomplish the task at hand one assignment at a time. Essentially, when we keep looking back, we can’t even focus on what we are supposed to be doing right now.
It was simple and it remains simple: I had to quit looking back before I quit considering quitting.
Hebrews even says that if they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return (Hebrews 11:15). If we continually look back, we will eventually find a way to return. We find what we are looking for – every time. If I look for smiles in a crowd of people I will find them. If I look for frowns of rejection I will find them. Within the same crowd are many smiles and many frowns. What we find is dependent upon what we are looking for.
Likewise, when we look back at what we left, if we keep looking, an opportunity will present itself for us to take the bait and return to the mindset of the bondage of Egypt.
My question to you is, “Are you looking back at a city you have left?”
I encourage you and I encourage myself as I write – let us be the salt of the earth where we are right now, rather than risk becoming a pillar of salt that is blown away by the winds of the past.
Kristina Seymour loves to encourage and equip women through the Word and through community. She is the author of The Warrior Mom Handbook, The Warrior Mom Leadership Manual, and The Warrior Wife Handbook; they are available at Amazon.com. Kristina's Bible studies are for women who desire to live by faith in the midst of their everyday lives. She has learned that women can't survive on caffeine and animal crackers alone; women in the Word and in community are united and able to stand firm. To learn more about Kristina, please visit her website, https://kristinaseymour.com/. God loves to share His story of love and grace through us all, and Kristina believes that everyone has a story to tell.