My little three year old is learning to dress herself. Which means of course, that many days her clothes are inside out and/or backward. Sometimes she is adamant that her way is correct and sometimes she will allow us to help her with her clothing malfunctions. One day she asked me if her dress was on backward or, as she put it, “rightward.”
I love when my children come up with words like this, because often they are so descriptive. As you all know, they also make me think! This word really got me thinking. So often I can fall into a habit of looking backward. There are good things about the study of history, even our own, but when it becomes an almost morbid list of “if only,” not much good is going to come from looking back. I want to try to look back long enough to learn, and then resolutely turn my face forward.
Looking too far into the future can also have drawbacks, however. If I start running ahead of God in my thoughts, and His plan for my life today, my thoughts can quickly become worries and anxieties. The best thing to do, as my daughter put it, is to stay “rightward.” What this really means is “God-ward,” staying focused on Him and His best for us today. One of my favorite sections in the Bible is in the book of Matthew when Jesus is talking about not worrying. He also says that our thoughts should be God-ward first and then all these things that we think we need to worry about will be provided by God.
Just as it will take practice for my little girl to dress properly by herself, it takes a whole lot of practice to stay focused on God when the worries of a day slam against us. However, the more we practice, the more peace we will experience as we truly learn to trust God with our pasts, our presents, and our futures.
Matthew 6:33-34 “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”