So, I’m reading this novel. It’s a thriller. England. Rain. A fatal accident. Or was it? Atmospheric. Menacing. I’m in heaven! When suddenly I realize that this is not the first novel in the series. This book is the third in a continuing series! I’M IN THE MIDDLE OF THIS CHARACTER’S STORY!! No, no, no. I have to start at the beginning. Something about the fact that this character has a past (however fictional) is ruining everything! I close the book and reserve the original at the library. Even as I surrender to what I know is a compulsive behavior, I can’t help but ponder the power yesterday holds over the today. How often do we allow the past to paralyze us? Why do we let our history with all its limitations and expansions affect our present and future?
Jesus is all about today. When he invites virtual strangers to come live with him, he never questions their past or asks for a resume. He merely makes an invitation to follow, join, change and be open to the adventure of right now. I wonder if it is possible to approach each new day without being shackled by the past. What if we were to approach our daily challenges with the knowledge that our past, however flawed, provides us with a reservoir of knowledge, wisdom and experience that will assist us in our ongoing development?
I suppose the past can either be a prison or a resource center. I suspect that all of us need to release the jeering and the medals, the touchdowns and the fall downs. The triumphs and the disappointments belong in the scrapbook, not in the discernment of what I can or cannot do today. Recently I have been made aware that today is all we have . . . it’s all we’ve ever had.
Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.
~ Mother Teresa
We are products of our past, but we don’t have to be prisoners of it.
~ Rick Warren