There’s a song I’ve been listening to this week that I just can’t seem to get out of my head. It has some incredible lyrics…
I’ve been painting pictures of Egypt, leaving out what it lacked. The future feels so hard, and I wanna go back.
The places that used to fit me cannot hold the things I’ve learned. Those roads were closed off to me while my back was turned. – Sara Groves
Her song is referencing the story in the Bible of the children of Israel who were delivered from their years of slavery in Egypt; however, once they found themselves wandering in the wilderness, they whined and complained, longing for their days back in slavery…
I think, too often, this is so true for our lives. When we are growing, transitioning from the old to new, sometimes, it can feel uncomfortable, even painful, to keep moving forward. The changes and transitions it takes to mature can cause us to long for those “easier” days of our past. They can even cause us to “glorify” those yester-years, forgetting the reality of what once was true. Yet, what we fail to realize is when we’ve grown past those days of which we’ve so beautifully painted, they just don’t seem to fit like they used to.
It’s just like many young adults growing into adulthood. They may long for those glorious days of their youth, but they can never really return, no matter how much they try to regress. They may act silly, playful, even completely irrational, but they’re only left looking a fool, because those childish acts just don’t fit, and they simply cannot become a kid again.
She says in another place, “…caught between the promise and the things I know…” It can be so difficult when we are trying to reach for the promise of our tomorrow, but the comforts of yesterday are screaming at us to return, and the present just doesn’t seem as great as we once envisioned. Sometimes, it can feel so tempting to back up, “take a breather,” and not work so hard to achieve whatever goal it is that we’ve set before us. However, can I tell you something? Too often, when we back up, when we turn around from where we’ve been headed, and we try to return to those more comfortable moments, those places that used to feel good, we realize even those don’t actually feel as good as we thought they did. Something’s missing; something has changed, and what has changed is US. We are no longer the person who used to fit into those experiences, those places from whence we came, and those roads of the past are simply closed.
It’s just like an old jacket or dress from our early teen years that we try on once we’ve grown up and even had a few kiddos. We might be able to put it on, but the sleeves might be a little short, the ends might come a little above our waistline, or the fashion is one that just can’t quite make it to today’s standards. It just doesn’t fit anymore, because we’ve grown beyond the point when we could wear it comfortably. We’ve grown beyond when we needed it. In order to keep growing, we must put it away, or even better, we must get rid of it. We can cherish the memory, but we must press forward to a better purpose, a higher calling, a brighter promise!
If we’re going to continue growing, this is just how life is. We can’t return to those things of old, those things which we’ve grown beyond. If we are to be champions of the faith, we cannot return to our past time and time again. We cannot dabble in those things that cloud our vision and hold us back. We must press forward, and take hold of those things to come, even when they’re challenging, even when they are uncomfortable and make us long for those “easier” days. We must walk away from those closed roads of yesterday, and take hold of Jesus and allow Him to mold us, shape us and develop us into being who He has called us to be.
We must, also, learn to say with Paul, “But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him…Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 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 3:7-9a, 12-14
**I did not take this pic, nor do I own this pic. Simply looked up and going through Google images.**