Looking back can mean many different things, however, I would like to address looking back with respect to purpose of the past and how to reconcile it peacefully.

To ever reconcile anything, you need purpose to cooperate with past to be a successful process. Most times, we are wired to run away from the past, especially if it has brought us nothing but pain.
The past becomes what we cannot do without when pain is introduced. It is like the shadow that follows at a distance, not catching up but not completely lagging. The human mind stores up memories from the past and many people struggle to reconcile the past peacefully, especially if trauma is involved.

As children, we look for our parents in a spouse because we are stuck with the memory of our adult parents. So, we subconsciously or secretly hope that our spouses will recreate our parents. As parents, we may be equally stuck in the memory process of raising children even though they have grown to become adults.

I have found that we look back when we shouldn't and we refuse to look back, especially when it is relating to our past experiences and there are consequences for not understanding why we shouldn’t look back and when we really should look back.

Abraham was to leave his family’s comfort to go to a land he was unfamiliar with to begin a new life. He left quite alright, but he was unable to let go so he had his son pick a wife from the place he was to let go. Well, we know the rest of the consequence it brought upon Jacob who was abused in the process by his uncle Laban.

Lot, Abraham’s nephew, was in trouble in Sodom and Gomorrah. He was to vacate the polluted land to save his life from God’s judgment. His wife struggled to leave and as she looked back she instantly became a pillar of salt.

Joseph was one who was forced to leave His father’s comforting love and was sold into slavery by His brothers. He went into Egypt as a slave, learned the language and never looked back. One day, it was to time to reconcile with the pain of the past and forgive his brothers so he could save them from famine. Joseph shed heavy tears as he allowed himself to heal by confronting and reconciling with the past. As he understood purpose, there was peace laid over the pain of the past.

Moses was involved in a gruesome murder that turned him to a wanted fugitive in Egypt. However, God had him look back with a purpose to deliver all of Israel so they could worship! He made all sort of excuses because of the trauma. He wished someone else would do it, not him. The more he embraced it, the more it healed him.

Queen Esther was in her place of comfort next to her King. Mordecai her adviser and guardian summoned Esther to look back to reveal her identity which was to save her people. She had no business being identified with her past, but purpose had her look back to deliver all of Israel. Sometimes, our past really does catch up even in the place of comfort. She had to look back for a purpose!

Jesus took his chances, went back home to Nazareth, but he could not perform many miracles or bring the good news of salvation to them. Purpose also had Jesus look back but the people were unable to reconcile with their past. This particular one I find sad because it could have saved the entire city if only they could have cooperated.

Most of us are hindering the process of reconciliation. It should begin with us as individuals and then it trickles down to everything and everyone else. Peace is absent without true reconciliation within. The process of reconciliation is allowing ourselves to understand the purpose of the past, pain or pleasure.

Pointers for this week

  • Identify a painful past
  • Recognize and understand the purpose
  • Reconcile with it and healing is inevitable
  • Peace is guaranteed.

Live, Love, Laugh
Kemi Gwan.


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