Looking Ahead

It was a leadership retreat.  It had been an amazing day- gourmet food, a ropes course, getting to know the others in the group.  I had stayed up late chatting by the fire with some of the guys, and made my way back to the women's cabins alone, about a half mile back through the woods in the pitch dark.

I had my flashlight, and I used it to stay out of the small puddles that lined the path.  I also made sure I didn't run into any trees on the way, and that I made it to the right cabin.

This was the image I had as I was reading Charles Stanley's new book, "How to Reach your Full Potential for God", where he draws a mental picture of using your flashlight or lantern to get through the woods in the middle of the night.  He makes these points:
  • You need the light to see in the distance, to be able to know your goal and the direction you are headed.
  • You need the light to see either side of the path, to make sure you are not wandering into the underbrush, or even worse, off the edge of a ravine.  
  • You also need to be able to see directly in front of you, to see immediate hazards and challenges.  
The obvious omission is that you don't need to shine your light behind you.  In order to move forward, you have to focus on where you are and where you are going.  Outside of forgiving and forgiving, you can't change what's in your past. 

The flashlight in Stanley's illustration?  Psalm 119:105 (NIV) "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path."


  1. Good post. Putting your past behind you is one of the toughest things one can do... but it is necessary in order to move forward.

  2. Eric, I know you know what you're talking about. God bless!


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