Shortly after I turned sixteen and received that prized piece of plastic called a driver’s license, I got my first car. It was a 1998 Mercury Mystique which I would later take to calling “The Mistake.” I had owned the car for exactly one week when I left the house to run an errand. I was on my way to the post office to mail a package. Enclosed was the safe driver workbook I recently completed. Upon receipt of this coursework, my insurance company promised a lower car insurance rate for as long as I remained accident free.
The day was overcast. As I started to drive, it started to rain. I was less than a mile from home when it happened. I was checking my mirrors and got fixated on something in the rearview. By the time I looked forward, I knew it was too late. I slammed on my brakes, but not soon enough to stop from hitting the car in front of me. I crashed into a beautiful, jet-black, Pontiac Firebird. If that wasn’t bad enough, the momentum I created was such that the Pontiac hit the car in front of it, which hit the car in front of that. In a matter of seconds, I had caused a five car pile-up.
Good-bye, safe driver discount.
Miraculously, everyone walked away from the twisted heaps of hot metal completely unharmed. I cannot tell you how grateful I am no one was hurt in the accident.
I learned a powerful lesson that day.
If you keep your eyes on the rearview, you will miss what is happening in front of you.
So it is with life. It can be easy to get fixated on the past. Without even realizing it, we get focused on “the good ole days,” or mistakes we’ve made, or bad things that have happened. While it can be useful to glance back at these moments as a point of reference, if our gaze remains there too long we risk a wreck.
Today, I encourage you to join me in looking forward.
“ . . . Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” 2 Corinthians 5:17