Focus is an essential part of getting something done. Sometimes my focus is more on yesterday than it is today. I waste a lot of time looking backward.
The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage often rebukes me because I look in the past. I talk more about yesterday than I do today. On the other hand, she is always focused on today and what can be done today.
I look back and see yesterday and what I didn’t accomplish. I try to relive yesterday, and it never works.
My father used to tell me, “If you were supposed to look behind you, God would’ve put eyes in the back of your head. God knows what He’s doing.”
The older I get, the more sense that makes to me. I can waste all my time looking back or investing my time in today and looking forward. I can’t look both ways.
Of course, it is pretty hard to transition as a husband. My wife will ask me many times, “Did you remember to do….” Then she fills in the blank with many things that she wanted me to do yesterday.
I once, and only once, tried to make a joke out of it and said to her, “Yesterday is over, and I have nothing more to do with it.”
The lecture I got on that subject from her entitles me to some Ph.D. degree in something or other. (PhD is simply Pretty Hard to Disagree.)
Amazingly, the one in our house who is always focused on today is concerned about my yesterday. I’m not going to approach her on that subject; I like my life as it is right now.
One of the hardest things that I have in life is saying goodbye to somebody. When I went off to Bible school, I remember saying goodbye to my parents, which was a tough thing to do. The Bible school was maybe 10 hours away from where we lived. So when I said goodbye, I knew I was leaving and I wouldn’t have access to them as I have had.
This was before cell phones, texting and the Internet. My only contact was the landline house phone. I could not call them when I wanted to, as we can do today.
Today, all I have to do is send a text message no matter the time of day, and they will respond to me when they get the text.
Saying goodbye to my parents and moving out of the house was a chore for me in many regards. I had no idea what I was going to be doing. I did not have any idea how I would take care of myself. At that time I was focused on looking forward and was excited about what I would experience.
It was then that I first discovered what it means to kiss yesterday goodbye.
When I said goodbye to my parents at that point, I put everything behind me, and I was going to experience a new adventure that I didn’t know much about. For me, it was exciting. It was a time to try new things and new experiences.
I was soon to learn the key ingredient in kissing yesterday goodbye.
I had no idea what was before me when I closed yesterday, but I was anxious to navigate new waters in my life.
At this Bible school, I met a young lady. Since we were going to school together, she was a year ahead of me, we ran across each other every day. So it wasn’t long before we became what is called “an item.” That was something brand-new for me. I never was part of an “item.”
It was then I began to understand that today’s “item” can take your focus off of yesterday. I never knew it quite like that before. To kiss yesterday goodbye is to welcome today into your life sometimes you don’t know what’s associated with today.
Letting yesterday go enables me to enjoy today and get ready for tomorrow. I need to remember; today is tomorrow’s yesterday.
No matter how good yesterday was, today can be that much better. So when I let go of yesterday, I have an opportunity now to enjoy today in its fullness.
Every once in a while, the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage will say with a smile, “Remember when…?” then she goes into a long tirade of something that happened years ago. But, of course, I enjoy the reflection, and sometimes it encourages me for today.
According to her, there’s nothing wrong with reflecting on past experiences as long as you’re not going back to that situation. So I’m still trying to learn that side of it.
Usually, we reflect on past anniversaries on our wedding anniversary and enjoy that reflection. She remembers things yesterday that I don’t remember at all.
The purpose of memories is to enhance today, make it better, and give me the energy to move forward.
I have learned to turn my yesterday into a blessing that enables me to enjoy today and tomorrow at its best.
One of my favorite Bible verses says, “This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24).
When I kiss yesterday goodbye I can focus on the day, today, that God has made to be a blessing in my life.
[Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, Ocala, FL 34483, where he lives with the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. Telephone 1-352-216-3025, e-mail email@example.com. Website is www.jamessnyderministries.com.]