A guest post written by Nancy Piersall
Looking back with regret or longing for something that has ended or is gone? Looking ahead with uncertainty, doubt, or gloom? Feeling “stuck” in the present and not able to move on? How do you learn from the past without immersing yourself in it?
These questions are important from an emotional and a health perspective and I found insights to these questions in the biblical account of Sodom and Gomorrah, where two angels came to Lot and his wife when they were living in the city of Sodom. The angels warned Lot that the Lord was going to destroy both Sodom and Gomorrah, and that Lot, his wife, and his daughters should flee the city to be safe. The angels told Lot to do three things: “look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain.” Lot followed these directions and left Sodom with his wife and daughters. But his wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.
I’ve had many opportunities to apply this account to my life. I have taken the angel’s three directions to Lot and applied them to my own situations in this way:
1. Don’t look back; don’t live in the past. Learn from past experiences, keep the good from the past, and then end that chapter and let go. Constantly looking back, you will become a pillar – stuck in the past.
2. Don’t stay where you are mentally. Keep working to improve and move forward. Every minute holds the potential for good, for progress. Actively work to do the best you can with what you have and where you are now. Propel yourself forward, one step or thought at a time.
3. Go higher mentally. Elevate your thought to the highest standard of perfection and hold it there. Health researcher and founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, wrote in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, “Hold thought steadfastly to the enduring, the good, and the true, and you will bring these into your experience proportionably to their occupancy of your thoughts.” The inspired meaning of “escape to the mountain” is lifting your thought to the realization of all the good that God has for you – now and in the future, and you have the right to see this good manifested in your life.
All that matters is how we use the present. Being grateful for the good in the past and the blessings we have now sets us on the path to experience even more health and goodness in the days ahead.