where do you live? Past, present or future? As 2023 begins, many of us are still looking ahead to 2022, 2017, or beyond. There is nothing wrong with thinking about fond and wonderful memories. However, the problem with looking back is that we get stuck in overanalyzing past events and experiences. Worse, if we were living in the future, we might be anxious about what would happen, and what if.
Think of Lot’s wife…she struggled with her past and future lives. Genesis 19 tells how angels came to Lot and warned him of the impending destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. They made it clear to him not to look back on the punishment that would come upon this wicked city. A hesitant Lot, he had to be urged by the angels to flee and not look back. Hearing all this, Lot’s wife was probably asking herself. Sure, it’s not that bad. She said, ‘The next thing she knew, she was a pillar of salt. She was afraid of what was ahead of her, but she was also afraid of leaving behind what was familiar. Genesis 19:26 says, “But Lot’s wife looked behind her, and she became a pillar of salt.”
The New Testament also speaks to the problem of looking back at Luke 17:31-33. Likewise, those on the field should never go back for anything. Remember Lot’s wife! Those who try to protect their life lose it, and those who lose their life protect it. ”
Looking at my own life and some recent circumstances, I can understand how Lot’s wife wanted to look back. Sometimes it seems easier to focus on the familiar than to accept the unfamiliar. What I have learned is that when it is most difficult to stop looking at the past, we must rely on faith and live in the present with gratitude and acceptance.
Through a recent chain of unexpected events, I wanted to reflect and consider what I had left behind. Despite this, I still struggled with the nagging urge to move forward. I knew it wasn’t the best situation, but I still wasn’t ready to move on. And fear the future!
I now realize that living with regrets about the past and fears about the future is rooted in unresolved issues like anxiety and rejection. Isaiah 43:18-19 says, “Don’t remember or think about the old days. Behold, I am doing a new thing. Now it is welling up. Don’t you feel it?I always try to be intentional about living in the present.I have to be grateful for what I have and let go of the fear of what might happen. Don’t be taken.
Dr. Shewanda Riley (Aunt Wanda) is a Fort Worth-based author of The Hangover of Love: Moving from Pain to Purpose After a Relationship Ends and Writing to the Beat of God’s Heart: A Prayer for Writers. is the author of the book of You can email her at Preserve Dubai Purpose @ gmail.com or follow her on her Twitter @shewanda. You can also listen to her podcast at www.chocolateauntiepodcast.com.