sunrise, sky, colours, beauty

Walking forwards backwards or being really alive

Working on a project last week, I read a quote from an amazing Australian social reformer who should be better known to us than he is. Hopefully I can have a part in changing that shortly.

Anyway, he wrote that “most people move forward backwards”. The reason is that the future is “dark” in the sense that we cannot see one minute into the future (although we can imagine or project our ideas of what the future might be). On the other hand, the past is like a “blazing light” – we can see its details clearly and so although we may well feel we are moving forward, we do so with our eyes towards the “light” of the past.

But, he says, there are some people who move forward looking forward, watching carefully to see and embrace what emerges from the “dark” of the future. Something like watching the world take shape as night gives way to dawn.

These people, moving forward and looking forward, are those that are “truly alive”, he concludes.

I think we can convince and comfort ourselves we are moving forward when really in life there’s not much choice, as time and our beings go relentlessy where they haven’t been before, whether we like it or not. But are we looking forward.

It’s easy to step into the next thing life offers but have a good measure of our heart and at least one eye on something of the past that shines particularly brightly, even if it is the glistening of tears, or the rich glimmer of a golden time, or the sparkle of youthful innocence.

Move forward looking forward and save your best for what is and is to be. The past will take care of itself – which could be what Jesus meant when he gave the call to follow and said, ‘Let the dead bury the dead.’

I’m not saying it’s easy, or that I’m any good at it. But it makes sense, I reckon.

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Finding our way forward

“Scars remind us of where we have been but do not have to determine where we are going.”
David Rossie (Joe Mantegna), Criminal Minds

“What lies before us and what lies behind us are small matters compared to what lies within us. And when we bring what is within us out into the world, miracles happen.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Leaders order their hearts and minds so as to acquire more than what they currently need, because they know they will need more than they now possess.”
Pastor Timothy Jack

“I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me.”
Apostle Paul, Philippians 3:12

“My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”
Jesus of Nazareth, Matthew 26:39