I ran several different events in high school for our track and field team. Besides working on our form, our coach gave us another bit of advice: never look back. Looking back costs you time, disrupts your form, and changes your wind resistance. We were told, “Even if you hear footsteps close behind, don’t look back. Just look straight ahead at the finish line until the race is over.” What was good advice for track is good for us in life.
Proverbs 4:25-27 says, “Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you. Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path. Don’t get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil” (NLT). It’s hard to stay in a straight line when you’re not looking forward. My son is a perfect example. He’s constantly looking everywhere except where he’s going. I keep reminding him, “Look ahead or you’ll run into things, fall down and get hurt.”
We all need to be looking where we are going. What God has for you is not behind you. It’s ahead of you. Yes, your past happened, but it’s not where you’re going, it where you’re leaving. Think of Lot’s wife. She looked back and turned into a pillar of salt. The Angels told them to keep moving forward and not to look back. I don’t think it was an instant change to salt. I think she got caught up looking back, forgot to move forward, and was covered with the salty soot from the destruction.
In Philippians 3:13, Paul wrote, “No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,” It’s hard to forget the past and the things that happened, but if we allow them to distract us from our future, we could end up like Lot’s wife. We could become stationary and get stuck in that place. We need to be looking forward to what lies ahead so we win our race. Learn from the past, but keep looking where you’re going or you’ll run into things, fall down, and get hurt.