In Others' WordsIn Others' Words

Friday, June 03, 2011

In Others' Words: Doors

"When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one that has opened for us."
 ~ Alexander Graham Bell, inventor

One thing is certain, you can't look forward and backward at the same time. It's physically impossible.
I confess, there have been times when my life was in forward motion and I wasted precious emotional energy looking back at what was, instead of focusing on what lay ahead.
Don't get me wrong--reminiscing is a wonderful thing. I treasure the times when my kiddos sit around the table and share "Remember when" stories.
But when I won't let go of what was to embrace the here and now, I'm trading the possibilities of the future for the can't-go-back-and-change-it past. 

I like the reminder in these verses from Isaiah 43: 18-19:

 Forget the former things; 
   do not dwell on the past. 
 See, I am doing a new thing! 
   Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? 
I am making a way in the wilderness 
   and streams in the wasteland. 

In Your Words: Have you ever found yourself looking back over your shoulder at what was? How did you fix your focus on the future--on what could be?

photo by pipp/

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At 7:53 AM, Blogger Wendy Paine Miller said...

I do this more often than I'd like to admit. It's a continual lesson in striving for what's ahead or being content in the now.

I love that verse!
~ Wendy

At 9:56 AM, Blogger Beth K. Vogt said...

Striving for what's ahead--good. Being content with now--also good.
Looking back for too long--not so good. That's when we get tripped up by things we can't change.

At 12:41 PM, Anonymous Laurie said...

I have that verse on fridge! I think I need to make it more prominent though as I find myself getting stuck in the "what could have beens" too often. Thanks for the reminder!

At 12:53 PM, Blogger Kathy Harris said...

Your post reminds me of the verse in Jeremiah about God forgiving and *forgetting* our sins.

At 1:45 PM, Blogger Jeanne T said...

When I was a new bride, my husband's job took us from Nevada (and friends and that which was familiar) to Alabama, a place with things new and unfamiliar. I found myself longing for my old friendships, church and all that I knew and that knew me.
One morning in my quiet time, God showed me a verse (don't remember it's address) that talked about growing roots downward and growing branches upward. I realized that I had not really been growing new roots into the life God had given me as a wife. Rather, I was clinging for, wishing for what had been. God challenged me to grow my roots deep in His word, and reach my arms high to the new experiences and blessings He had for me in Alabama.
When I find myself wishing for things in the past, I remember that word picture and re-orient my thinking. :)
Loved this post, Beth!

At 1:50 PM, Blogger Beth K. Vogt said...

Laurie, this post was a good reminder for me too! I have that verse in my kitchen and up on my treadmill.
Kathy, I definitely see a connection between us forgetting the past and God forgetting our sins!
Jeanne, thanks for sharing your word picture. So vivid and so true!


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