Looking Back

Three ways to muse on the past:

Thoughtfully

I am thoughtfully honest about good and bad, mistakes made and successes enjoyed.

Pastor and Minister Nate Larkin faced up to his sex addiction. He formed a support group for those with similar problems: ‘When I listen to the stories of my brothers, I find to my surprise that they are telling my story too.

My friend shares his weakness, and I am strengthened by it. Another shares his experience, and it fills a hole in my own.’

As I’m honest with myself about my past I can be honest with others.

Thankfully

With positive gratitude I practice the old hymn ‘Count your blessings – name them one by one.’

Larkin’s thankfulness: ‘I found the best way to keep from going down that slide again is to write a gratitude list every day. The list serves to remind me that I have not been neglected by Providence…

My life may not be perfect, but it is extremely good. I may not have everything I want, but in many ways I am already rich beyond measure.’

As I’m grateful for past good times and happy memories I can face today…

Theologically

I reflect on God’s involvement and influence:

Larkin: ‘Remembering the many ways God has cared for me in the past, I find it easier to believe that he will remember me today… when I see how many of my blessings have been birthed through pain, I gain hope that today’s pain, however meaningless it appears, is working towards a redemptive purpose.’

Isaiah the prophet: ‘Remember the former things, those of long ago; …. I am God and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come.’

As I see God throughout my life, my faith is deepened.

Ref:

Nate Larkin ‘Samson and the Pirate Monks’ (2006)

Johnson Oatman ‘Count your blessings’ (1897) – the old hymn that starts ‘When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed’ – I have mentioned it before – perhaps worthy of further musing…

Isaiah 46: 9-10

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