The Weekly Vista

Don’t live in reverse

- Monday Morning Musings — James “Skip” French is the pastor of Highland Christian Church, 1500 Forest Hills Blvd. in Bella Vista. Opinions expressed are those of the author.

I already know what you’re going to say: “We’ve read this story before!” OK, I admit it, I wrote this article for the February newsletter back in 2020 but I got so many fun and crazy responses that I thought I would resend it one more time.

My first car was a 1966 Buick Electra 225 (back in the day we called it a deuce and a quarter). I bought it in 1973 for $200. What a great car it was. However, it developed two problems (before I wrecked it). One, the heater didn’t work. Two, reverse didn’t work. You can go without a heater, but it’s hard to drive a car that doesn’t go into reverse. Difficult, but not impossible.

I learned to drive with a no-backing-up mentality. I wouldn’t park on a driveway unless it was built on a slope and I could roll my way back into the street. In parking lots, I looked for two empty spaces (one in front of the other), so I could pull through the first and park in the second, as if I had backed in. I got pretty good at it, making it through most of my junior year not driving backwards.

This is a terrible way to drive your car, but it’s not a bad way to live your life. If you can learn to live without going in reverse, you can overcome many of the limitation­s that we put on ourselves.

There are many times when we say, “I know what I want to do, I know what I ought to do, but I have this history of failure — I tried this before and it didn’t work.” That’s the driving-in-reverse approach. It’s the opposite of what we’re called to do.

Remember the words of Paul.

But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Philippian­s 3:13-14)

Are you stuck in reverse? Are there some things today that you need to forget, as you make a conscious effort to drive forward? Forget what’s in the rear-view mirror, forget what lies behind. Look ahead and press on toward the prize.

Peace, Skip

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