boy looking forward his hand to his head. blue-eyed. blonde in a blue sweater. Isolated on white background

“Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old” (Isaiah 43: 18-19).

Leroy “Satchel” Paige was a baseball star with the Negro Leagues who later played in the Majors. Though he was an excellent player, noted for his fastball and showmanship, sportswriters often criticized, ridiculed, and over-looked him. In spike of his troubles, he was still able to counsel others with many witty statements.  One of those statements that we can all adopt as our own is “Don’t look back – something might be gaining on you.”

In his acceptance speech to the Hall of Fame, Paige said that that “Don’t look back” statement kept him going through all the hard times in his life.  Like Paige, we can all profit from focusing ahead rather than looking back.

In Isaiah 43: 18-19, God urged his chosen people to forget the things of old.  Sure, He was speaking to Israel assuring them of a future victory in escaping an impending oppression.  However, I hear Him speaking to you and me as well.  His lesson to us is this: We should not cling to the things in our past, especially those things that have cause us great harm.  For, if we hang on to the injuries from our past, we can never behold the healing that awaits us in our future.  If we are truly God’s children, our future is always brighter than our past.  How?  It holds the promise of a wonderful hope – a new life in Him.

As we journey into 2016, let us remember to leave these horrible things behind:  hate, hurt, anger, pain, fear, and doubt.  They burden us and prevent us from arriving safely to our destination – a bountiful life today and an everlasting life in your future.

Prayer:    Heavenly Father, as we travel life’s journey, rid us of the temptation to look back.  Help us to break free of those things that will imprison us in the past.  Always, keep our eyes straight ahead – focused on you.   In Jesus name, we pray.  Amen.