So often, I find myself growing too comfortably here on earth. There are certain places, such as past houses, past churches, my current church, camps, and even Life Action family camp in Michigan that have such joyful memories. I wish I could spend my life reliving them. I remember last summer, I spent four straight weeks at camps. Those four weeks were when I first saw spiritual fruit began to grow in myself. Because of those camps, challenges I received, and a few books, I jump-started into a passionate relationship with Jesus. Or like this summer, when I spent three weeks at Life Action. I grew so rapidly and firmly there. Or like back in January, when my youth group had four or five straight weeks of phenomenal Wednesday night worship services.
Oh how I wish I could relive those moments! I think to myself, "Man, I wish I was back there, in that moment. Nothing compares to how much fun that was, how wonderfully connected to God I felt, and the companionship I shared with friends." But when I think this way, I fall into the trap of glorifying the past. And while memories like these are great, and can be reminders as to how great God is, we as Christians can't let them become a stumbling block in our faith. Using the worship event as an example, I shouldn't look down upon a service I attended last week just because it wasn't as amazing as last month's. That is border-lining on telling God that He can't create a worship as good as last time. We shouldn't glorify our pasts and render them unbeatable.
I love the passage in Philippians 3 where Paul writes about letting go of pride in the flesh and submitting to Jesus. The Message translates verses 13 and 14 as, "I've got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I'm off and running, and I'm not turning back." As I Christian, to live in my past is to turn back. It's limiting God's use of me. Paul is saying that we must let go of the past, because the past is gone, over, done. Rather we must look to the future, to what God already has prepared for us. This may sound crazy, but with God, every second is better than the last. In all honestly, it's foolish for me to say, "I wish I could live on July 15, 2009 forever" because I'm a different person now. I'm different than I was a month ago, even a week ago. My relationship with Jesus must be forever moving forward and never stopping for any reason.