my son and I went backpacking a short time ago. (side note, all that extra stuff you think you should just bring ’cause it doesn’t weigh THAT much will crush your face when you fall down… hypothetically) While we were backpacking, treading down a trail I’d not trod before, I noticed a few things. One, I’ll talk about now, some others will come along the trail soon.
We walked about 14 miles the last day, I guess I should call say we ‘hiked’ to be correct, and during that trek I really really really wanted to know what was coming ahead. I could look behind me and clearly see, as we were hiking uphill a lot of the time, all the ground we had covered since leaving the gorgeous lake we’d been at the night before. I couldn’t see what was ahead, I had no idea how much longer we had to hike to get there, and not knowing was not fun.
While walking, pondering, wishing I knew what was around that next bend in the trail, it occurred to me that I do this a lot. I romanticize what it would be like to know what’s next, and because I can’t I end up looking back and wishing for that. I also forget that looking back means I’m only gazing at a previous days’ unknown, one which I also didn’t know about, but which also came and went the same as this one would.
Why do we look back? Here’s a clip from a web show I recently watched, pondering this question:
It is so much more desirable to look back, to dwell in the past, because we can measure it. We can know it, we can see it, we were just there. And, forgetting all the real trouble that may have been present there, we long for it. The future, the next step, what is around the bend is so often clouded by our own fear and trembling- but isn’t that the way we work it out- with ‘fear and trembling’ (Philippians 2:12)
My prayer for myself these days is to trust more in what God has for me around the bend, and long for what is behind a lot less, for He who helped me start down this hike will help me get home- the trail is just one step in front of the last one. He who began a good work in me, will be faithful to complete it.