A Healthy Backwards Glance
One of my favorite verses is Luke 9:62 where Jesus says, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” The historical context is simple. If the plowman was looking back over his shoulder, he would end up zigzagging his way across the field. The only way to insure nice, straight crop lines was for him to set his eyes on an immovable distant point and “aim” the yoke of oxen in that direction.
As always, Jesus was using a common example from everyday life to make a point. If you are going to live a life of Kingdom-Significance, you cannot live in the past. You cannot be looking back with regret or second thoughts or even guilt. You trust that God is calling you, set your eye on Jesus and go! The productive kingdom life will only be hampered and distracted by unhealthy backwards glances.
But there are healthy backwards glances. Two weekends ago when we remembered those who have given their lives for our freedom was one such glance. And as Cyndi and I are sorting through decades of papers, pictures and memories in the process of downsizing, that has been another one. A chance for us to look back with gratitude over God’s faithfulness and what we’ve had the privilege of being part of.
Which made me realize something: we are not good at, as a congregation, archiving those precious memories. Chapel Hill has so many wonderful high points… but every time we undertake an anniversary celebration of some sort, we are always scrambling to remember well. In one sense, this is good; it means that we live in the present with our eyes on the future. Which is great! Still, we need some help with those healthy backwards glances.
So, here’s my ask. We need someone, or someones, who enjoy history, have a gift for organizing and would love to help us capture and archive the incredible story of what God has done at Chapel Hill. This will not be a quick project nor for the faint of heart… but it will be a great gift to coming generations. If this sounds like you, would you e-mail Kathy Berry?
Meantime, even as you are plowing into your future, don’t forget to pause once in a while to wonder at God’s faithfulness!