I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 3:14 nkjv

I don\’t drive on the interstate often. Recently I had a meeting to attend which necessitated a forty-minute drive on the highway. Before backing out of the garage, I strapped my seatbelt, adjusted my mirrors, checked my directions, and prayed. In fact, I prayed for the next forty minutes!

As I whizzed down the road at sixty, okay seventy miles per hour, I checked my rear-view mirrors often. Many years ago in driver\’s education, my instructor told me to check my mirrors frequently while driving. As I passed through downtown at rush hour, I could keep my eye on the semis, aggressive drivers who rushed past me like I stood still, or the drivers distracted by cell phones.

Looking back is advantageous at times. In life, looking back can be an education. We can learn what not to do by examining our mistakes and reflecting on lessons learned. Hopefully as we age, we become wiser, and less apt to repeat the mistakes of the past.

We can also reminisce with our positive memories thanking God for His blessings. We never want to forget the goodness of our Father. We sing a popular song at church that says, “Look what the Lord has done.” Psalm 48:9 in the Amplified Bible says, “We have thought of Your steadfast love, O God, in the midst of Your temple.”

On the downside, focusing too much on our memories can hinder us from living in the present. Even good memories can stifle our lives by causing us to wish things were ‘the way they used to be.\’ We must not dwell on past mistakes, but learn from them and move on. If I had spent the greater part of my time driving on the interstate looking in my rearview mirror, I\’m sure I wouldn\’t be here at all. I focused on my destination, and moved forward.

To live life to its fullest, we cannot linger in the past. The apostle Paul put it this way. “Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead” (Philippians 3:12-13 nkjv). God has done marvelous things in the past, and because He does not change, He does marvelous things today, too!

Maybe I wouldn\’t check my mirrors so often if I drove the speed limit. Uh-oh. Did I admit that?

Prayer: Lord, help me to trust You, to thank You for ‘this day,\’ and to be present and ready to do Your will. In Jesus\’ Name I pray, Amen.

Children's author and inspirational writer, Donna J. Shepherd, looks at everyday life and finds God's fingerprints everywhere. From bird watching to the Beatitudes, Donna's writing touches the heart with wisdom and humor while feeding the mind with daily portions of God's Word. She is currently a columnist for The Dabbling Mum and a staff poet for The Inspiration Station. Her articles and poetry have appeared in Reminisce Extra, Just Between Us, Guideposts for Kids, Penwomanship, Sisters in the Lord, and many more. Her devotionals appear in Daily Grace for Women, Devotional Reflections to Nourish Your Soul (Honor Books), and Anytime Prayers for Everyday Moms (Warner Books).