You know it’s funny how simple things can really make an impact on you. For example, I learned a valuable life lesson from a couple of dogs.
Marty, is a Miniature Schnauzer and Sam, is a yellow Labrador Retriever. They both belong to my pastor. This story he shared in a sermon really made an impression on me.
When Sam was a puppy, Marty would exercise his dominance as the “alpha male” and eat his dog food and then go over and eat Sam’s too.
Now, many, many months have passed, and Sam outweighs Marty by almost four times his body weight. But guess what happens when Marty finishes his own food? He goes over to Sam’s bowl and Sam cowers down in fear as Marty proceeds to gobble up both bowls.
Sam reverts back to the mentality of a six-week-old puppy. Even though his size and strength far exceeds Marty’s now; he has a defeated mindset that he can’t overcome.
This illustrates to me the danger of living too much in the past. It can keep us focused on the wrong things. If we remember the bad things from our past—the mistakes and failures—it can freeze us in the present and hurt our prospects for the future. It causes us to say things like: “I’ll never…” or “I can’t…” or “I messed up too many times to…”
But there’s got to be a delicate balance in our thinking. The fact is the past isn’t all bad. I believe God wants to use the past. He wants to use the positive and negative to build us up and prepare us for the future.
I communicate with people almost every day that share stories about feeling defeated in their attempts to lose weight or make changes in their lives. They are scared of change, and they are defeated by their past. I try to encourage them to just take that first step to move beyond the past and into the future.
Whenever you begin to make changes in life, it may be scary but more than that it’s going to be exciting. Sometimes when you begin to make those changes things feel beyond your control. But when that happens, just remember that God is in control. And as the scripture tells us, His strength is made perfect in our weakness. Rest in that reality and make a change today that will impact all your tomorrows!