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January 30, 2006


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Joe Kennedy

The McManus brothers are incredibly insightful, aren't they? I gather they see things the regular person NEVER sees coming. Sometimes I read something one of them says (in a book, on a blog) and think, "How in the world did he just come up with that?" They're discussing Erwin over at the Missional Baptist Blog.

Joe Kennedy


over there, I mean.


It's hard to maintain balanced memories. Pain is so sharp, so memorable that against its glare the smaller events of life become hard to see.

We can learn to do so, with the Holy Spirit's help. I'm not really a natural-born pessimist, but I've been well trained. The Holy Spirit's influence is gradually helping me see things differently. I don't know what events await in the future but they're under God's control so, while painful, the outcome will be good.

Why do I think so? Because of some guided memories. I look back at my life, eyes cast back over my shoulder as I walk forward into the future. Many events stand out, things that changed the course of my life. Many of them could have led to bad outcomes, but something caused them to go another way. Too many for coincidence. I believe God stepped in and redirected things. Why? I'm no better than anyone else. Why show me special favor? His reasons.

Was it really special favor? Could it be that such counter-statistical favors are available to anyone who pays attention? Paying attention is very hard in our busy world; it takes time that many people don't want to spend.

And then there's the idea prevalant in modern Christianity that time spent looking back could better be spent looking forward. There is the danger of getting stuck in the past, but again with the Holy Spirit's help the track stays out of the death spiral of self-consumption.

So, here's an exercise for you, Lu. Get quiet sometime and ask God to help you see the events of your life in balance, as he sees them. Ask him to help you see clearly. It may take some time to learn how to do, but there's gold in the past that you can dig up and learn from.

Walking backward into the future just leads to falling flat on your back. You have to face front and take the steps. Looking back is what memory is for, but as with everything else in our lives we're dependent upon God to help us see what's really there and not what we assume is there.

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