Around these parts, I have a reputation as a Florida Gator fan. A brave thing to be in South Louisiana where most folks bleed purple and gold. Many would have a hard time believing that I once proudly wore a t-shirt that read “Happiness is Gainesville, Florida, in your rear view mirror. ” I had just finished 27 months at University of Florida Law School. I was ready to get on with real life and not in a mood to look back. My eyes were firmly fixed on the future.
Life is not always like that. We can we spend too much time looking in the rear view mirror. If we consider the qualities of rear view mirrors versus front windshields we might learn something. Autos and humans are designed for facing and moving forward. Safety requires only an occasional glance to the rear. God created us as to be future focused creatures. With God, all the good stuff is ahead. He gives us the gift of excited expectation. We can never say we have seen the most beauty we will ever see or had the best of life. That’s always ahead. With God there is always more.
It’s dangerous to stare into the rear view mirror. We can lose sight of where we’re headed and collide with dangerous obstacles or we can just sit there never moving, only looking back. We all now someone who lives in the past. Sometimes that someone can be seen in the mirror. Without the God planned sense of expectation, life becomes dull and, eventually meaningless.
Rear view mirrors distort. Some rear view mirrors warn that objects may appear larger or closer. Our life memories are also often inaccurate. Were the “good old days” really that good? Sure we were younger, smaller, and more energetic, but were we really better. We are designed to get better as we move forward in all the ways God considers important.
God wants an abundant life for us, a life rich in the things that bring joy. Our part is to keep headed in the right direction, using the past as a foundation and education, not a museum. Looking expectantly to the future.
Maybe if we glance up from the rear view mirror, we will see, looming ahead, something new and exciting