As we grow older, we may have a tendency to look back and if we aren’t careful, we can to give in to selective eyesight and only see the problems and failures of the past.
However, when we choose to become a disciple and follow Jesus we must do so wholeheartedly and leave the past behind totally. Just like the story of Elisha being called to take on the prophet's mantle from Elijah. Elisha slaughtered the oxen he was ploughing with and burned all the equipment and left everything to follow the old prophet.
The disciples who were fishermen left their boats and profession to follow Jesus.
It's too easy for us to look for someone in the past to blame or resent, and way too easy to stumble around in bitterness and regret. We need to leave it all behind and press on.
The best thing to do with the past is to learn from it, while keeping our eyes on today and looking forward to the day's to come!
In Genesis chapter 19 the Lord told Lot and his family to leave the city and in verse 26 when Lot's wife looked back at the city she was leaving, (indicating that her heart was still there rather than with God and her husband), judgment engulfed her and she was turned into a pillar of salt.
In Luke 9 several people wanted to follow Jesus, but all made excuses why they could not at that time. Then in verse 62 it says, But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”
Jesus says the man who looks back is not ready for service in the kingdom of God.
Now what that passage is telling us, is that the past can be a distraction that keeps us from being what the Lord needs us to be today!
The apostle Paul confirms this in Phil 3:13 when he talks about, "forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead."
We've got to stay Word-centred and Christ-centred, seeking to honour God and living for the future.
Remember how Jesus taught us to pray in Matthew 6:9-10 "In this manner, therefore, pray. Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven."
God wants us to live for Him today!
The best way to change the past is to live in the present, looking forward continuously to the future and living the way God wants us to live today, rooted in the moment and living for God — in service to others and in service to the Kingdom.