Dr. Stanley Spence, Pastor First Baptist Church, Lincolnton, N.C.
When life is particularly busy and we are faced with many challenges, there are a couple of insights worth keeping in mind for coping. Our memories function is teaching us how to go forward in life making fewer mistakes as we go. One example is the need to replay events we experience, good and bad, for the sake of learning for the future. It’s hard to go to sleep after a great experience for our mind says, “Don’t let this end! Remember everything about this and celebrate it. Repeat it if you can!”
On the opposite side of success experiences come out of our failures. Our minds won’t let these experiences go because they remind us, “Don’t let this happen again! Learn all you can so as to avoid this painful experience ever again.” They both have one thing in common, the good events and the negative experiences. Both trends repeating the experience until our minds have learned all we can from what we’ve been through.
A friend of mine was telling me to let go of a painful experience in the past if I was not learning from it anymore. He told me the following story to remind me: If you come to a broken traffic light in the country and it never changed, what would you do? Would you sit there for hours or would you look both ways for a clear moment to pass through the intersection and cross after a few minutes? I would wait a few minutes and cross over being extremely careful about traffic hazards as I went. “Why don’t you do this with your thoughts”, he instructed? “If your mind is stuck on replay and you are not learning anything new, it is time to let the story go and move forward.”
Jesus spoke about forgiveness having the same power to help us let things go. Whether we are seeking forgiveness from someone for our failures or they are seeking forgiveness from us for their failures, the results are the same when we forgive or receive forgiveness. We are released to move on in our lives to more productive moments. Don’t be stuck in the past, good or bad. Move on in life following a living God who has a current plan for you and me.
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