Don’t Look Back

If you keep looking back you will fail to notice what is before you.

In Genesis 19 the Lord is destroying the city of Sodom for their impurity, and Lot’s family is fleeing the city. The angels of the Lord told the family to flee, but in their haste Lot’s wife looked back to Sodom and turned into a pillar of salt. Scholars speculate as to why she looked back. Perhaps she was afraid of what was ahead, perhaps she was too worried about her future, perhaps that is where her heart was. Regardless of why she looked back, she shriveled up into salt, like the rest of the godless city.

How many times do we sink into our own pasts? We relive times of struggle and also of prosper, and somehow grieve them so much that we are paralyzed. We become unable to see what is ahead of us, though we can’t go back. God is calling us out of a place that we don’t belong in.

A Song by Sara Groves says:

“I’ve been painting pictures of Egypt,

I’m leaving out what it lacks

the future feels so hard

I want to go back

But the places that used to fit me

Cannot hold the things I’ve learned

Those roads were closed off to me

While my back was turned.”

A family that believed in God, whom Abraham had fought for, did not belong in a city condemned for unbelief. We are not meant to become salt.

God is constantly calling us out of one moment and into the next. Lately I’ve been spending a lot of time both looking back, and even dreading the months to come and I’ve been pretty unhappy with this particular moment. Suddenly I became extremely stir crazy. I felt so trapped and I didn’t know why. But the truth is, I’d come to make do in a place in my life, instead of being in Christ. I’ve been so locked in on what I don’t have and where I’m not, that my heart hasn’t been open. When you’re heart isn’t open, you can’t move forward, you become a pillar of salt. It’s like your heart dries up completely and leaves you motionless and discontent and feeling trapped.

God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. Everything else will fall away, it will crumble back into dust. We belong in Him, not in the ruins of a destroyed city or the remnants of the past. Today is alive and today is new.

Then Jesus asked, “Do you love me?”

“Yes Lord, you know I love you.”

“Feed my lambs . . . Do you love me?”

“Yes Lord, you know that I love you.”

“Take care of my sheep. . . Do you love me?”

“Lord you know all things! You know I love you!”

“. . . ¬†Follow me!” (John 21. A conversation between Simon Peter and Jesus.)

Don’t look back. Not because you will be punished because you do, but because you won’t be able to move forward. Keep your heart open and your eyes on him. Follow him, and don’t look back, because you’re not going to want to miss this.

(Written December 2010).