Looking backward, looking forward

Yesterday I celebrated my 65th birthday—the usual surprise, how could this have happened to me?—and this morning Popie and I listened to Pray As You Go for morning devotions. The Scripture was Jeremiah 7: 23-24, which (in the NRSV translation) says of Israel, “They did not obey or incline their ear, but, in the stubbornness of their evil will, they walked in their own counsels, and looked backward rather than forward.”

It was the “looking backward” that caught my ear. These days I am aware of the temptation to believe (as the Israelites tended to do) that the best is behind me; that the future is full of stresses and strains that may build my character but won’t amount to anything substantial. At 65 there is a tendency to look backward with nostalgia and forward with your guard up.

But that is not a view that God endorses. The stance of the Christian is always forward, learning from the past only in order to lean toward the future. And according to Jeremiah, there is a moral component to this.

To put a point on it, the 4-mile run from my front door, which I’ve been doing for at least 20 years, gets a little slower every year, no matter how hard I train.

But there is more to life than my body–and even that, I’m told, will be renewed.


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2 Responses to “Looking backward, looking forward”

  1. fbcpastor Says:

    Great reminder.  I will join you there before long.  Still enjoying 64 for now.  Yours in the incredible grace of the One who made us, Steve Newman

  2. Dallas and Ginny Wassink Says:

    loved your comments. We are 75 heading toward 76 this year. Keep the good reminders coming, we can relate.
    Dallas and Ginny Wassink

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