I heard a pastor tell the story of his father constantly reminding him when he was a kid to close the gate behind him as he left the barnyard. “If you leave the gate open, the animals will follow you around”, his father would say.
He asked the crowd, “Isn’t that what we should do with our past; shut the gate so it won’t follow us around?”
I think that’s brilliant! Granted, the roads we’ve traveled make us who we are. But, why don’t we just leave the hurtful junk in the barnyard, shut the gate, and move on? If we really need to, we can peek back over the fence to remind ourselves how we don’t want to do things. Then we can walk away and escape without all the “animals” following us begging to be fed and taken care of. Besides what we don’t feed won’t grow.
Change, even with the way we think, is not easy even though the end result is good. We get comfortable with where we are and what we are doing regardless of how destructive it might be. Moving forward and moving on simply begins with a decision to take the first step in the right direction.
It’s a new year. Why not take that first step?
“…Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead…”