I will go anywhere, provided it be forward.
Scottish missionary and explorer, David Livingstone, was born on this day in 1813 (died 1873).
Livingstone has been referred to as Africa’s greatest missionary. His story, of which I need to read more, is the stuff of legend, a story of a brave man committed to both exploring the continent of Africa as well as spreading the Gospel.
No doubt there were countless times in Livingstone’s life when he could have turned back.
I don’t face anything near as daunting as what Livingstone faced, and I likely never will. Still there are thousands of those who do, going into remote and hostile areas to spread the redemption story.
I may have written this before. In fact, I’m fairly certain that I have.
For a time I saw myself returning to the Navajo Reservation in New Mexico and Arizona. I spent the summer after college graduation out there with World Gospel Mission.
The stories of why that didn’t work out are many, and will likely be included in a book.
But talking about too much of that is looking backward. Here’s another thought.
You can’t undo the past… but you can certainly not repeat it.
German-American actor and producer, Bruce Willis, was born on this day in 1955.
I can’t go back and take that left turn in Albuquerque…even though I did fly through there (And yes, I know I’ve used that obscure reference before. Points if you get it).
We can’t change the past. Good or bad.
What we can do is learn from it.
That’s why I have a tendency to get all bent out of shape when people want to tear down statues or rename buildings…okay, sometimes I get the reasoning behind that…sometimes. But let’s not pretend that history didn’t happen.
It did. And much of it was ugly.
Removing it from our history books and everywhere else won’t change that. And then we’ve learned nothing.
Pardon me while I step down off the soapbox.
I’m trying to move forward.
I can regret the times my Wendy’s order included the burger AND the frosty…and I do…but I can also get my ass to the gym and watch what I’m eating now.
I can regret the time that credit card offer was just too darned easy…and I do…but I can also bring out the scissors and render the thing unusable.
I can regret not studying harder in Spanish class and not keeping up with it. I can regret not spending more time practicing the piano.
I can regret not going out for the track team…okay…no wait…I really can’t.
But while I know it’s not too late to work on both Spanish and the piano, I have to accept the fact that it’s not likely to happen.
The track team was never going to happen.
Still, I can move forward with my writing, I can move forward with my work in theatre.
I can move forward with cleaning out the attic and the garage.
Let’s not get carried away. In fact, I’m editing this on Saturday morning when all the weather experts had told me for days that it would be raining today, so I planned a day to clear out the office and do taxes. Now, there’s no rain (they changed the forecast yesterday), and I’ll be heading out to attack the yard here shortly.
Back to the story…
The point is that, no matter what silly or foolish thing we may have done in the past we are a resilient species. We have the chance to get up and dust off our Levis and keep moving forward.
Or, in my case, put my Levis on and get my ass out in the yard because it didn’t make it to the gym this morning (that would be Saturday).
Don’t live in the past. Learn from it.
If you made bad decisions, and we all have, accept them for what they were and count that as a lesson to not repeat the same mistakes.
Look back long enough to learn from the past, but not long enough to lose sight of what’s ahead.
It’s Monday and we can’t get the weekend back.
Let’s work through and get to the next one.