Disclaimer: I’ve been thinking about life a lot these past few days. So this post is rambling, verbose, and is Jebus-based.
There’s a new worship album out from Ricardo Sanchez of Free Chapel in Georgia called “Moving Forward.” It’s pretty good technically and musically (i.e., it effortlessly moves through a range of worship music genres, everything from Israel Houghton to Hillsong United). But I’ve found it to be a lot more powerful thematically.
The chorus in the title track is derived from a verse in the Bible where Jesus says: “Look, I’m making all things new” (Revelation 21:5).
That’s actually been on my mind lately, especially as I’ve read some of my journal entries from a decade ago. In reading entry after entry of what seemed like unending angst, I was reminded of the intense hold the past sometimes has on us.
While I’m sure a lot of it was just part of the adolescent experience—Erikson astutely defines the psychosocial developmental conflict in this stage as identity vs. role confusion—I’m convinced that many of those entries were borne out of genuine hurts from past experiences.
I think it’s a safe bet that everyone has his or her fair share of literal and figurative scars from the past. Whatever doesn’t kill us only makes us stronger, yes, but it sure does leave a mark. And it doesn’t help that in life, we all have the potential to get screwed over. A lot. Crappy things happen. That’s just part of the human experience.
And I think that many of us carry around a deep sense of hurt from everything we’ve experienced. We carry emotional baggage. We have monkeys on our backs. We have gigantic chips on our shoulders.
It’s easy to imagine that many of us probably have a right to carry that stuff around. Maybe we were hurt or betrayed by a close friend or family member. Maybe we were physically or emotionally abused. Maybe we were shot down every time we tried to do anything. Or maybe we discovered that the Tooth Fairy never really existed.
Whatever it is, many of us have these self-defeating messages that replay in our heads every time we experience a trigger or a failure.
And we all cope in different ways. Some people wallow in the past. Some continue on a downward spiral. And some move forward.
For me, that’s where faith comes in. I think the key to getting up every time we fall down or get beaten down is believing that—someway, somehow—we have second chances. That the past will always be the past, and that we don’t have to be held hostage by it. That tomorrow is a always going to be a new day. That we can leave it all behind and move forward.
I like how the Message Bible translates Philippians 3:14: “I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.”