Last month, I began the process of writing a book of lessons learned from my young life. I’ve kept some sort of journal since 1988, so I’ve got plenty of material to work with, and sift through.
As I read about the people and events of my past that shaped me as a woman today, I sometimes wish I could reach back to those times and tell my younger self, “Girl, don’t listen to him! He’s lying!” Or, “You don’t need to put up with that, it’s a waste of time. Quit while you’re ahead!” But we all know that we can’t go back and re-live the past. We can look back, but how about looking forward to look back?
The future is something in our grasp. We have a big part to play in our own destiny/ Our decisions today will affect us later. God has a purpose and plan for our lives, but He’s not a control freak or a dictator—he gives us free will to do whatever we choose. So with this awesome power He’s given us, why not think ahead about what we want for our lives (our goals, dreams, aspirations and desires), envision ourselves there in the future, then look back to our lives now in 2009, and ask ourselves if we’re on the right track to get there?
Are there people in our lives that we should avoid, or do we surround ourselves with supportive people that lift us up and make us better human beings (see my blog about toxic people at http://dareesinsights.wordpress.com/2009/01/24/youre-killing-me-toxic-people)? Are there unnecessary, energy-draining, time-stealing projects that we’re involved with, or do we only invest our time wisely?
Are we sowing into the next generation and our community by mentoring, teaching, and volunteering our time and talent to better others? Sowing into others takes the focus off of your problems, and often you will get a revelation about your life or your current circumstances while you are investing in someone else in this way.
I encourage you to look forward first. Step forward about 5 years or more, then “look back” at your life as it is today. What do you want to do? Who do you want to be? How do you want to be remembered when you’re gone? Ask God if your plans and desires line up with His will, then make a plan and go get it! You’ll know if your plans are NOT part of God’s will, because you will try to implement them, and be met with frustration at every turn, where nothing flows for you.
President Obama often speaks about changing our nation for our children and their children. In his election victory speech for example, he asks what our children will say about the way we handled America’s crises, and how they overcome and grew up without having to deal with racism and other biases. Barack is looking forward first. Will you?