Too often, we tend to find ourselves reflecting on our past. In some cases, this can be a good thing. It is when we dwell, or long for our way of life from the past, that the past becomes trouble for the present. In Ecclesiastes, we are assured that there is a time for every purpose under Heaven. What we need to realize is that the time and purpose for our past has already occurred. We do not get a “do over” nor can we travel by a time machine such as was depicted in the “Back to the Future” movies. The choices that we made are done. What we can do is focus on our present and future. Here, is where I have landed in a bit of trouble.
I am one of those “hanging on to the past” type of people. I have always had trouble in this area for one reason or another. The results of this have done more harm than good. You would think that I would have learned my lesson in this regard by now. I am sorry to say that I haven’t yet. This must fall under the “mind of the flesh” category. I know that I need to let go, but my mind just keeps reverting backward. This has never been more evident than in the case of my ongoing illness. I just keep remembering how different, and (so I thought) better that my life was.
Before my illness, I was an active and (normal) woman. I got my kids and husband up for work and school each day, cleaned house, cooked, washed clothes, could ride up and down the road anytime I wanted, craved the “clearance rack” at Walmart, and could eat anything and everything that I wanted no matter what the amount. Now, I still get my husband and kids up, but I spend most of my time holding my stomach in pain, laying in the floor sick, and living in the bathroom. Cleaning, cooking, riding anywhere in the car, and eating are all very few and far in between actions for me. The only thing that I have been able to keep going is this blog….and many posts have been written with me feeling so sick that I can barely stand it. That is how I am feeling now. The problem is that my mind is constantly flooded with images of my life from before my illness and I fill with sadness. I am starting to see that there may be a lesson to be learned from this.
In considering a lessoned to be learned, I am automatically reminded of Lot’s wife. She is a prime example of what can happen by looking back. When God destroyed Sodom, Lot, his wife, and their family were spared. As they were fleeing the city, Lot’s wife looked back and was turned into a pillar of salt (Genesis 19:26). It was not that she looked with her eyes, it was that she looked back with a longing for the city in her soul. So, I began thinking and asked myself “Is that what I am doing by looking back at my life before my illness?” What I had not thought about was the spiritual quality of my life before my illness. I was living and active….that is true. But I gave very little, and a lot of times, no thought to the teachings of our Lord. I was preoccupied with the things of this world. Now, to answer my own question of “Was my life really better before?” I would have to say that it wasn’t.
A few years ago, our pastor gave a sermon on a subject similar to this. He said “Sometimes, you have to be brought down so you can look up”. That has certainly been true in my case. After I was stuck down with this illness, I have learned to look up. I have really dived into my studies and bible research. Spiritually, the quality of my life has greatly improved. In being a faithful servant of our Lord, isn’t that more important?