John T. Willis

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Past and the Future

No matter how young or how old we have lived; no matter what we have done; no matter where we have lived; no matter who our ancestors or descendants have been; no matter how tall or how tall; no matter how intellectual or how dumb; God has created us and continues to "move" us in human life from the past to the future. We talk about the present, BUT we are constantly moving from the past to the future--and WE CANNOT DO ANYTHING TO CHANGE OUR SITUATION!!!

I want to make a few personal observations, and I hope many of you will respond to me to give me greater insights.

A. We can learn from the courage and achievements and progress of the PAST. In my own life, many things have changed from a worse to a better situation: like means of travel, means of communication, facilities, etc.
B. GOOD practices or traditions from the PAST establish us in stable living. In my opinion, good parents, a loving church family, a well-established society, beliefs rooted in biblical teaching, etc., are fundamental to PRESENT and FUTURE living.
C. IF we will pay attention, we can learn by SINS and MISTAKES of the PAST, and not foolishly REINVENTING the old bad habits of humanity. Some people "get this message," and unfortunately we often miss that message. Proverbs 26:11 is a good reminder about a very revulsive figures:
"Like a dog that returns to its vomit
is a fool who reverts to his folly."
It is a FACT of human life that BAD HABITS destroy lives.

A. Human life has always built on DREAMS and DESIRES and ASPIRATIONS. The Bible repeatedly reports "God's PROMISES," the fulfillment of which were fulfilled over centuries, like the conquest of Canaan or the coming of Jesus Christ.
B. There is something in the heart of everyone that, whereas life in the past was good, and life in the present is all right, there are things that are BETTER yet to come and happen in life. This is true on a small term, like wanting to get married, or wanting to have children, or wanting to get out of college and start a REAL JOB, etc. This is also true one a large term, like wanting to land on Mars or solving THE problem of cancer, or finding ways to have peace on earth, etc.

III. THE PRESENT. In one sense, we can talk about THE PRESENT, even though in reality, we are ALWAYS MOVING FORWARD IN TIME a second at a time, a minute at a time, an hour at a time, a day at a time, a month at a time, a year at a time, a decade at a time, a lifetime at a time. In this sense, EACH DAY is VERY PRECIOUS. We rejoice with the biblical words in Psalm 118:24:
let us REJOICE and BE GLAD IN IT."

Having said all this, it seems to ME that the proper situation in which we stand is presented beautifully in Paul's words in Philippians 3:13-14:
"This 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 heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus."

How is YOUR life? Your past? Your present? Your future? How do YOU view life? Share with others. PLEASE send me YOUR insights.

John Willis


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