Living in the Past

November 26, 2013

Tony Robinson

"Do not remember the former things, or consider the things of old. I am about to do a new thing . . ." - Isaiah 43:18-19

Holidays -- a big one coming up later this week -- sometimes tempt us to live in the past.

Perhaps we remember past times that seemed to us better times. We are filled with longing for then. Maybe they really were better. Or maybe memory has filtered out the not-so-great, leaving us with an idealized picture, perfection imagined if never real.

But it can cut the other way too. A holiday may prompt recall of former times when we made some real mistakes, behaved badly. We may experience regret and go to a very shame-filled place.

Holidays -- Thanksgiving and Christmas in particular -- are such complex times.

They are also a good time to let the past go and to live in the present. The wonderful memories, you won’t lose them, but you can let them go. The crappy memories too, let them go.

See what’s in this present moment. In this holiday, this year. See what God is up to, what new thing God is doing right now, right here. Live in the present, and practice gratitude.

Prayer

God, grant me grace to not live in the past or the future, but in the present, and there to find reasons for gratitude and thanksgiving. Amen.

About the Author
Anthony B. Robinson, a United Church of Christ minister, is a speaker, teacher and writer. His newest book is Called to Lead: Paul's Letters to Timothy for a New Day, and he is also the author of Book of Exodus: A God is still speaking Bible Study. Read his weekly reflections on the current lectionary texts at www.anthonybrobinson.com by clicking on Weekly Reading.
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