One of the most popular hashtags is called #FlashbackFriday which isn’t used as often now, but used to be very popular. The hashtag invariable follows some adorable picture from elementary school where the girl has pig tails and dimples. For me, I was as cute back in the day as I am now……which isn’t very much. So instead of a picture my flashback was going to be an old blog post I wrote.
As I scanned some of the original articles from my website, there was an immediate observation that would be apparent to anyone. This early writing sucks. Why did people read my writing back then? Did friends, family, and church members read it for the same reason parents attend elementary-aged concerts? “Awww! Look at little Timmy up there! He sounds like a cat dying, but isn’t he a big ball of adorable for trying?”
Immediately you start to feel bad reading those words and want to comfort me like a mom of a 7th grader who just got cut from the middle school soccer team, “Chris, your writing wasn’t that bad. I kind of liked it. Keep up the good work there, pal.” Regardless of your desire to comfort, I’m acutely aware of the shortcomings of my early articles, but there is a huge spiritual lesson in all of this.
My past informs my present.
The writer I am today wouldn’t be possible without the lessons I’ve learned along the way. Like “Open Letter to Millennials Who Left the Church” was way too long for a blog post, “I Love Jesus But Can’t Stand the Church” takes forever to get to the point, and “My Childhood Faith Didn’t Last” has paragraphs longer than a 3 day road trip with your annoying uncle Larry.
But despite all of those flaws, I have learned from each one. With every step forward, the writing comes easier, reads better, and flows like a normal blog should. The same is true with your spiritual life.
You may look at your past and see it littered with flaws and mistakes, but keep stepping forward toward Jesus. Allow your past to inform your present, not letting you go back to where you once were.
My present is better than my past.
The more you write, the better you are at writing. At least that’s what the “experts” say. On this occasion the experts appear to have got it right. Today’s blog is way better than any one of the original posts on this site, and that’s a fact jack. You can take it to the bank. It’s because I write often, with consistency, and with regular editing from others.
The spiritual lesson here is that your present will be better than your past as you follow Jesus faithfully, with consistency, and with others speaking in into your life with regularity. As you do this, one day you will look back and see how far you have truly come in your walk with Christ. Keep moving forward in order to see results.
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My future will be better than my present.
I’m not done writing. That means a year from now, I will look back on my articles and think “Dang! Those were not that great.” And that’s perfectly fine because my future writing will be better than my present writing.
I pray the same is true of my faith. My future walk with God is hopefully better than my walk with God today. The old saying, “If you’re not dead, God’s not done” plays over and over in my mind. God has big plans for your future and for my future, we just need to keep faithfully pursuing him.
How is God working in your life today?