Walking away isn't easy. And the urge to stop and take one last look at what is being left behind is natural, but at times can cloud the already made decision, causing enough hesitation or doubt to make that break a bit sticky and a little less clean.
The gospel of Luke urges us to remember "Remember Lot's wife" (Luke 17:32). She looked back and was turned into a pillar of salt (Genesis 19:25). Interesting how God was doing everything he could to save Lot and his family and had even saved them, and yet Lot's wife, in the middle of being saved, looked back.
I do this so often, look back instead of looking forward. Instead of focusing on what and who the prize is, I tend to focus on the path I've already trod. I've been thinking a lot about this lately, inspired by the devotional reading a friend shared with me the other morning:
"Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but one thing forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" (Phillipians 3:13-14).
Wow! What focus and strength there is in "...[r]eaching forth unto those things which are before". How I wish I could be better at this.
I remember the few times in my life when I have shut the door and walked away not looking back, entirely sure that I made the right decision. And I remember too, that those times didn't feel so much like walking away, as much as they felt like walking towards. Walking towards God's true plan for me. Walking towards the person I truly am and want to be. Walking towards the light and the warmth of God's love for me. Walking towards my mission in life. Walking towards the truest happiness I could hope for. Walking towards the best and the better things in life.
I can still remember those moments clarity of thought and purpose, the correctness of the direction I was chose. At times it was like walking from dark into light; into a place where suddenly I could breathe, or where everything in me lined up agreement and there was no tension. Sometimes this lasted for a while and other times it was fleeting, just long enough to get me turned around walking towards Him. These are good places to be and good reminders.
Looking back isn't all bad; after all the unexamined life isn't worth living. But spending too much time in examination can halt one's progress forward. There is a time for self examination and looking back. There is also a time for setting the past aside, putting it God's hands to reconcile or clean up, and moving forward reaching forth unto things before.
And so I'm here, trying to walk towards--towards light, towards Him. I'm not doing it perfectly, but I am doing it. The point isn't to do it perfectly, but just to walk towards.