Lesson 9 Look Back
I know that most of the time I am looking ahead, always moving towards a goal or a milestone. Right now, I look to the end of the school year and summer break, as do the millions of children around our country. Two weeks is about as far out as I can go at this moment. However, most of the time we look ahead to something or another…graduation, a wedding, a birth…some milestone that marks our lives.
In fitness, I am looking towards my health goals. And I am not just talking about the number on the scale. I am looking forward to the day when I can reduce medicines I take for a number of issues. I want my blood work to look good at my next appointment. I want to be able to walk and move better than I do now. All of that is why I look ahead.
But the Lord showed me this week I need to look back. Look back to what I was like before. Look back to see how far I have come. I need to remember what it was like to get winded walking up the stairs. I must look at the clothes that now swallow me and remember when they were tight. When exercising, I need to think back to when I could barely make it through two songs. It is those things that will motivate me to continue this journey for my health. Looking ahead I see how much further I have to go, but looking back I can see how far I have come. Sometimes two pounds here and one pound there seems too little to take note, but added up it makes a huge difference. My joints already feel it. My heart is stronger. My stress level is down, my energy level is up. On the days when the 35 pounds I have lost seems like a drop in the very big bucket of the 70 I still have to go, I need to look back. Looking forward is not helpful on those days.
In life, it is the same. There are some days that looking forward is just too overwhelming. It is those times when we need to look back. The small forward progression that we cannot always see day to day is obvious when we turn around and look behind us. When you climb a mountain, it is not always clear how far you have come until you look down. Hence, the saying hindsight is 20/20. We gain wisdom by looking back. It is a biblical principle. It is why God instructed the Israelites to make memorials, and told them to instruct and remind their children of their history. He knows that you cannot always see his hand in the moment…but looking back you see miracles for what they are.
Regarding our personal situation with the brain tumor of Bill’s mom, we are trying to get her to look back at how far she has come in such a short time. She is looking ahead. She cannot remember before, and it seems to her that tomorrow will never come. She is stuck in a fuzzy, hazy present that never ends. Brain injury is like that. This road we are on is requiring me (forcing really) to look back twenty two years. It is a close up view of our past. It is hard, but still in looking back I can see how completely different things are now than they were then. It seemed then that Bill would hardly progress, one step forward two steps back. Roller coaster rides are more level than a person with a brain injury.
Now I can see what I could not see then. God protected me. Bill’s brain recovered. God directed our steps and our actions. He showed up in a mighty way and I am forever indebted to him for his love and comfort to me during that time. He moved mountains for us. We have a survival bond with him and with each other that cannot be broken. When I think of those things, the road ahead doesn’t seem so overwhelming. God is still God. He is still working. HE IS STILL BIG! Bigger than brain trauma, and the millions of issues that go with it. Bigger than weight loss. Bigger than whatever you have going on in your life right now. To gain God-sized perspective…look back.
Lesson 9 Look Back