It’s something you could notice every time you get in your car to drive. But you probably don’t. Sometimes you are just in a hurry and don’t think about what’s right there. A parable. A reminder. A way to view not only the road but also your life.
What am I talking about? Your front windshield and your rear-view mirror. You take them for granted, don’t you? That is until one gets hit by an object and shatters or one falls down.
Which happened to me and my wife on our summer road trip. I was driving at the time and all of a sudden the rear-view mirror fell. I had not noticed how much I depended on it to keep track of the traffic around me.
We couldn’t readily figure out how to put it back on or what caused it to fall. So I did what any resourceful person would do. I held it up with my right hand while I steered the car with my left. Fortunately we quickly found a place to stop, pulled in, and remounted the rear-view.
Where’s the parable in that? Sometimes you need to be able to see behind so that you can move ahead. It does you good to take stock of what has happened in your life to get you to where you are. Some of what you will see is good: Wise decisions. Helpful friends. Enjoyable times.
Some of what you will see may not be so good: Bad choices. Friends who steered you down wrong paths. Seasons you would just as soon forget.
You can learn from those. When you look in the rear-view mirror you can be reminded of routes you do not want to take going forward. What has happened in the past is descriptive. But it doesn’t have to be prescriptive.
Why? That’s the other part of the parable. Have you ever noticed that your front windshield is much bigger than the rear-view mirror? It is. (If you don’t believe me go check yours right now.)
What lies in your future is much bigger than anything that has happened in your past. Your best days are ahead. I’m not saying all of them will be perfect. The road ahead can have potholes and uneven shoulders.
But they can be better. They can be better because you have hopefully become a better traveler of life. If you have paid any attention to what is in the rear-view you have learned which paths are better. And because you have you can look for the better things that lay in front of you.
Those better things are being paved by God. One of the prophets told God’s people as much. They did as we do. We tend to think of the “good old days.” When we are in the middle of something hard we think the best times were somewhere “back there.”
But don’t. Keep your eyes on the road ahead. Isaiah says: “Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness.”
Are you traveling through a wilderness? Then don’t look to the past. You might miss the new road right in front of you.
Question: Do you believe the best days are ahead of you?