03 Dec 2020

Pull Back Or Press Forward

The older I get and the more life experiences I face (whether voluntarily or involuntarily), I recognize that in order to persevere you must have a “press” in you. Circumstances and situations that prevail have the propensity to weigh us down and impede our progress. Of course, there are times in which life seems to stand still and we appear to be in a proverbial holding pattern. Even then although we may not feel like anything is happening God’s plan for us is in perpetual progression. We may have stalled, but He certainly has not.

If given the opportunity and space of time, I could recite with full living color detail, experiences that I have gone through that felt as if I was being knocked backward with blows that would stagger the heavy weight champion of the world. On the other hand, I have faced some situations that in order to exhaust all human efforts of self-preservation, I intentionally pulled back and retreated in order to protect myself from what I saw as an inevitable devastating encounter. Was I successful? In some cases, maybe in my estimation — in others God saw fit to take me through it for the manifestation of His purpose. Pulling back often becomes our default defense out of fear of the unknown and reluctance to face the future. But doesn’t God hold the future in His hands? If He is the foundation of our origination and is the substance of our present; then He would not stop there –- He does indeed control the eventuality of our future.

We must be careful to thoroughly examine the action of pulling back. If we are not careful, when we pull back, we can become trapped in the past, and find ourselves lacking the courage and fortitude to press forward once again. We would better serve ourselves by reflecting or looking back rather than pulling back. The very action of pulling back takes energy that would be better exerted in the press forward! When we reflect on the past it enables us to see past blessings, accomplishments, history, family background and heritage, and yes also those mistakes, missed opportunities, and shortcomings; all of which aid us in our pursuit of what God has destined for our lives. I remember when my father was teaching me how to drive and sharing some tips I would need when I would inevitably find myself caught in inclement weather. One thing he taught me was how to get the car unstuck in the snow. I can hear his voice saying, “Now you have to rock it back and forth”! Of course, if you know anything about my Dad, he gave a full explanation complete with hand gestures! But what he was explaining to me was that I would have to alternately put the car in reverse and forward in a swift motion, but not pressing the gas pedal completely down. I could also hear him saying, “Now don’t floor it, don’t give it too much gas!” By following his instructions explicitly, I was sure to achieve that “rocking” motion and if the snow was not too deep, and I didn’t panic but just used a little patience, the car would be free to move forward again. It’s funny how that lesson served me well for the analogy in this writing. To this day I follow my Daddy’s instructions because they work!! In life there may be times that we find ourselves “stuck” in a difficult situation, but the goal is to free ourselves so that we can continue forward. So, it may take some “rocking” back and forth, reverse then forward, forward then reverse, reverse then forward . . . The key is not to pull back or remain in the reverse position. Use it as the catalyst to thrust forward! Before you know it, you’re on the road again! Press forward, your future awaits you!