The Rear View Mirror

By Becky Capps (Boopaints) on September 1, 2010

In the movie Love Happens, Jennifer Aniston’s character tells the male character (who is rather messed up) “You're stuck.You can't move forward because you've got your eyes on the rear view mirror.”

In the movie Love Happens, Jennifer Anniston’s character tells the male character (who is rather messed up)  “You're stuck. You can't move forward because you've got your eyes on the rearview mirror.”

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I loved hearing that because it serves as a huge reminder that we must stop looking back wards. Our past is just that: it’s past…it’s over.  We can’t change it. Imagine that a movie line would speak volumes to me and help me to stop the “what if’s”. I was living too much in my past…holding on for dear life and finding that I was spinning my wheels.  My healing process really began the day I let go of the “what ifs” and allowed God to show me a bright new life ahead.

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Can you picture yourself driving along a beautiful country road that is filled with flowers of every color, butterflies and dragonflies and all sorts of birds…with a perfect meandering stream flowing through the most gorgeous green trees?  Now picture yourself looking back in the rear view mirror and all of a sudden you hit something and veer off course, only to find you’ve missed the best part of the journey….a multitude of waterfalls that empty into a crystal clear pond perfect for swimming on a hot summer afternoon.

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You missed it because you smashed into an obstacle….all because you were looking in the rear view mirror of where you had been and not where you were heading. Ouch. But we all do it all of the time unless we practice not living in our past.

Mary Englebreit created a drawing that I have hanging right by my computer desk reminding me that the past is no longer an option.

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If we’ll stop looking in the rear view mirror at our past mistakes, at our failures, at things we have not forgiven ourselves for…. at the things we did that we feel are unforgiven by God ….we won’t miss what or who God brings along to change our lives for the better. 1 John 1:9 says “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Sometimes looking back is good because memories and experiences help us grow and make wiser decisions that can guide us in our future choices. But when we live our lives in the past, looking in that rear view mirror at negative experiences, we are not moving forward in our growth in every area of our life. We risk missing the beauty ahead of us. Philippians 3:13 says  “But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead.”

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Tom Hanks character Forrest Gump said “My Mama always said you’ve got to put the past behind you before you can  move on.”

His Mama was so right!

Related articles:
1 John 1:9, Forget the past, look forward, Philippians 3:13, Rear View Mirror

About Becky Capps
I've learned that the things that seem important, the things I used to worry about, are fleeting and that to trust God with my life is what brings me the most peace and contentment.

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Comments and discussion:
Subject Thread Starter Last Reply Replies
Timely message... Bubbles Sep 26, 2010 8:55 PM 2
Bump in the Road Ridesredmule Sep 2, 2010 8:32 AM 1
GREAT article! vic Sep 1, 2010 2:55 PM 3

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