Jesus said to him, ‘No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.~Luke 9:62 ESV
OLD MISTAKES SURFACE LIKE A DEAD BIRD
My husband inadvertently was latching onto old mistakes. I knew he didn’t mean to, but I knew the moment I saw the dog.
I returned from a trip and discovered my husband had bought a new dog. He was three months old, and for the first two days, all the dog wanted to do was snuggle. Maybe it was the shock of a new place, or he was trying to sucker us in. I don’t know, but Amos Moses stole our hearts fast.
Slowly, however, he let us see he was not all snuggles and sweetness. In fact, he’s almost as wild as the last little dog we had. One day, he ran around the yard and chewed up everything he could. He barked at the baby chickens, chased the cat, jumped from person to person, and then disappeared.
We called and looked. Suddenly, he reappeared, carrying the carcass of a dead bird in his mouth. Getting the dead bird away from him was difficult because it consumed Amos’ entire focus. Finally, one of us held Amos while my oldest son picked up the rotting bird with a pair of pliers and toted him to the woods.
HOLDING ONTO OUR OWN MISTAKES
As we searched for the missing dog, I realized that sometimes God calls us, and we don’t come, either. For whatever reason, we get stuck on something from our past, and when we do reappear, we are carrying a dead bird in our jaws, holding onto it for dear life. Our past failures, fears, interactions, relationships, and understandings are all we can see. We latch on, afraid to let go.
Perhaps that’s why Paul wrote what he did in Philippians:
Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it on my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.~Philippians 3:13-14 ESV
Paul knew we would drag up dead birds and get stuck in old ruts. He knew we would need a reminder to keep our heads in the game. From his own jaded past, he knew the need to focus on the present and future instead of old, haunting mistakes.
LETTING GO AND GIVING GOD REIGN
Like Amos, we can find ourselves disappearing from the present and reemerging, only to be carrying dead birds. We can latch onto old mistakes, claiming them as an excuse to stay stuck and not move forward.
God wants us to grab that dead bird and toss away the carcass. We have a job to do, a calling. Dead birds take our focus from the important adventures of life. Pick that dead stuff up and throw it in the woods. As Pumbaa quotes in the Lion King, “It’s time to put your behind in your past,” and step into the newness of the future. No dead birds allowed.
What mistakes or memories of your past are holding you hostage?
Father God, please help me keep my eyes focused forward and not drift back to the past. My mistakes are many, but your grace and forgiveness are so much bigger. Amen.
Copyright 2022: Latching onto Old Mistakes: Christy Bass Adams: All Rights Reserved