I did lots of looking behind while I was in Colorado, in many different contexts. I became very fond of turning around to take pictures. It often helped with lighting and I found that turning around led to some remarkable views that I never would have seen if I had kept moving forward. I also tended to look behind while mountain climbing just to reassure myself that I was indeed making progress in laboring up the mountain. It was encouraging to see how far I’d come.
As I thought about this, a life application started to emerge. I’ve heard people say that it’s best to keep moving forward, don’t stop to look behind, just keep your eyes ahead. But I think there’s tremendous value in pausing to look over your shoulder. As I found with taking pictures, there are beautiful things to behold when you look behind. There are wonderful truths that we find in our lives that weren’t visible at the time, but as we look back, we can see them. For example, at the time I was leaving Texas and moving to Colorado, I did not anticipate the joy and love I would come to know there. All I could feel was loss over the family, friends, and life I had known in Austin. But as the years passed in Colorado I was able to see God’s hand at work and was amazed at all He had given me and my family by moving us to Denver. At the time it happened, it felt like the door was closing on my life, but as I look back I can see that God was opening a door I never knew existed to give me a life I never dreamed possible.
Looking back at our lives also gives encouragement and strength for continuing the journey. As I was climbing mountains, it never felt like much progress; it was slow and sometimes painful, and I didn’t see much because I was concentrating on not falling. It was only when I stopped to look back that I saw progress and was heartened by the beautiful scenery. Pausing to review our lives has similar effects. We can see how far we have come, how God has brought us through the paths and guided us so that we don’t fall. We learn of God’s faithfulness through our experiences with life, seeing Him meet our needs, and transform us into a reflection of Christ.
I spent a lot of time in Denver remembering my past there. I relived memories and tried to visit special places where my family had spent time together. As I reviewed the landscape of my past, I was reminded again of God’s faithfulness and care. I remembered the lessons He had taught me and the times when He provided for me. Through remembering the joy and life He gave me during my years in Denver, I was encouraged and confident that God will continue to guide me and give me grace for the road ahead. I was reminded that when I walk with God, I have chosen the best path, wherever it leads.
Blessings to you,