Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13-14)
Windshield Or Rear-View Mirror
Life is like driving a car. Moving forward requires looking out of the broad windshield in front or to remain idle by staring through the rear-view mirror at what is behind. The reason automobile manufacturers make such a large front windshield is to afford a broad view of what lies ahead. Without this picture, it would be difficult to see where to go and what dangers may be ahead. A clean windshield improves visibility and modern glass is manufactured to be resilient to heavy abuse and even designed in such a way to reduce injury in case of catastrophic damage. Needless to say, the windshield is a very important part of enjoying a Sunday afternoon drive through the country. On the other hand, the rear-view mirror is very small and is placed in a position to give a small glimpse of what is behind. The purpose is not to use what has gone by as a means of going forward but to reflect on what has been but is no more. Everything in the rear-view mirror grows smaller and disappears in time if the car is moving. Both the windshield and the rear-view mirror are essential and vital to the safe operation of the vehicle but each serves different purposes with one allowing progress and the other a matter of reflection.
Life is like driving a car. Moving forward requires looking out of the broad view of what God has placed before us to see the opportunities and blessings of His grace. The vistas of life are filled with new roads to travel and exciting places to be a part of. Finding fulfillment will only come when the eyes are on the road ahead as the eyes peer through the windshield. It does not do well to try and drive looking through the rear-view mirror. Paul had many things in his life that could discourage him and cause him to quit. He had severely persecuted the church with the zeal of destroying any who called themselves of the Way. His purpose in life had been to arrest, imprison, and cast his vote of death against all the blasphemers of God. The grace of God changed his life. Everything in the life of Paul was viewed through the windshield of how much God had loved him allowing the redeeming blood of Jesus to wash away his sins. The apostle declared that he had put his past behind him and that he would press forward to what was before.
Life is like driving a car. As you look through the windshield the small view of what is behind is there but it slowly moves out of sight. It is good to see where we have been but only to see where we are going. Paul said he was focused on one thing, forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead. He did not suggest he wiped his memory completely of his past as near the end of his life he told Timothy he considered himself chief among sinners. Paul’s view of his past was small compared to the expanse of what lay before him in Christ. It is good to look in the rear-view mirror on occasion but the focus is ahead. Understanding how we have been saved by grace through faith in the promises of God will help us to keep our eyes on the road. Growing in Christ will diminish what lies behind as the blessings of God open up before us.
Life is like driving a car. The final lesson is to know there are only two roads a man can travel. One is a broad boulevard of ease, pleasure, and self-satisfaction. The other is a narrow, difficult, and winding way. Driving on the broad way is easy and fun but the warning signs that line the road warn of the impending doom at the end. Sadly, most of the drivers on the broad way ignore the warning signs until it is too late. The few who heed the warnings and accept the challenge of going on the narrow way find joy and eternal life at the end of the road. It was a journey filled with storms, dangers, and difficulty but with the encouragement of fellow travelers, the grace of a loving God, and an eternal map with all the right information contained therein – Heaven is found. Only those who use the windshield of God’s grace will find eternal life. How is your driving? Which road are you on today?