Know what I love about Saturdays? Naptime.
Today when I was getting Chloe into bed, she asked me, “Daddy where are we going when we wake up from nap?” I told her we weren’t going anywhere, but that we were going to stay at the house.
“Are Cole and I going to go outside later?”
“I guess you can. But right now you need to go to sleep.”
“Where are we going tomorrow?”
“We’re going to church, and then you’re probably going to take another nap. Why are you asking me all these questions?”
She didn’t have an answer for that (after I’d given her three answers to her questions, too. I felt slighted).
“Chloe, if you worry about all the things you might do later, you can’t enjoy what you’re doing now ... like taking a nap.”
What I had said was partially a joke, because I knew she didn’t really like naps (I know, it’s a shock to me, too). Yet as I walked out of her room, my words stayed with me.
“If you worry about all the things you might do later, you can’t enjoy what you’re doing now.” This is a common problem. Some people are so busy looking forward to what’s coming, they can’t enjoy what is. The opposite is also true. Some people are so busy looking backward at what’s already happened, they can’t enjoy what is.
How many times have you let past hurts, past mistakes or past regrets prevent you from enjoying your present? If you never have, you’re in the vast minority. I’ve met many people who are miserable because they can’t let go of their pasts.
Guess how that affects their futures? That’s right. As long as their pasts control them, they won’t be able to enjoy their futures, either.
The Apostle Paul addressed this issue in Philippians 3:13-14: “Forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Jesus Christ.”
Paul had a past, a violent, murderous past. He had a past full of mistakes, a past full of regrets. Did he allow his past to paralyze his present? Did he allow his past to derail his future?
No. He gave his past to Christ. And by doing so, Christ gave him a present ministry and a future hope.
Are you holding onto your past? If so, isn’t it about time you gave it to your heavenly father and allowed him to bless both your present and your future?
Parrish Myers is a local minister. His column appears biweekly in Sunday Life and on gainesvilletimes.com/life.