While growing up we’ve all heard the saying, “put the past behind you, always look ahead.” We’ve been discouraged from thinking about the hurt and pain we’ve all had to endure. I think there is some validity in these statements but I believe it should be stated conditionally and be divided accurately adding that it’s not all bad to look in the past, it just all depends what it is you’re looking for. If you’re looking for something that you’ve had difficulty letting go of then peaking in the past might not be such a good idea. If you’re looking for an experience in which there was a lesson you’ve missed that could be very helpful in propelling you forward, then it might be a good idea to take a peak. There are principles governing the act of looking into the past for things that can make you go forward. For example, we know that sometimes the past does repeat itself and what goes around oftentimes does come around, so if we can identify a pattern and understand the principle that goes with that pattern then we shouldn’t be defeated twice by the same situation. So when looking back into your past, you’re looking for a pattern, do you always behave this way? Have all your relationships ended this way? Do you keep doing this one thing that drives people away from you? There’s your pattern…now look for that immutable result and you’ll find your principle. Now imagine right now that you’re at an inflection point in your life and that’s a point where you simply cannot continue going forward, but you have to make a decision to go right or left. This is the perfect time to look back and think back to the last time you were at this point. What decision did you make? What was the result? Now you’re able to make an informed decision and hopefully the right decision. Here’s an example…last time you went out drinking, you overdid it, got wasted and drove home. You eventually got pulled over and got arrested and charged with a DUI. Months later, the situation again presents itself. You now have an opportunity to make a decision that will affect the outcome of how the night will end. In fact, you have three points in which decisions are to be made. Do I go out drinking? Do I drink too much, or if I’m way too drunk, do I drive home or call a cab? Three opportunities to look back into the past and make three informed and insightful decisions. If you get it right at the first point then you avoid the other two, if you get it right the second time then you avoid the last point and if you get it right on the third, you avoid a distasteful end of how badly the night could end. Maybe you’re not a drinker, but maybe you keep going for the same type of guys, and your relationship all end the same type of way. It could simply be that at the decision making time, you keep making the wrong choices. Looking back into your past allows you to take a firm grip on what might happen in your immediate future. Don’t be afraid to look back in order to go forward. In fact God even told the children of Israel to remember the former things of old. We are taught that in order to go forward, we must take a step back, clear our heads and timely and patiently take a step forward. We also have as an example the arrow in the bow…the further you pull it back, the further it will go. Look back, think ahead and ask God to help you make a decision that will allow you to be victorious every single time.