February 25, 2018
While driving or as a front seat passenger, have you ever noticed the inscription, “Objects in Mirror are Closer than they Appear” on the passenger side view mirror?
In case you didn’t know, this message is a safety feature to warns drivers that their perception of “objects” behind or on the side of them is distorted to make them appear closer. This potential danger may cause a driver to change lanes thinking the car next to them is a safe distance behind, when in fact it is closer.
Similarly, when looking through the rearview mirror of life, this message can be a warning that things are not always the way they seem. Just because we’ve overcome some things and they are behind us doesn’t mean that we can’t be tempted or fall victim to them again.
For almost ten years, I didn’t look back. After suffering a heart attack, I made a significant change in my life. I changed my diet and eating habits and added exercise to my daily routine that consisted of walking a minimum of ten thousand steps a day. My health was great. I became comfortable with the progress I had made. Despite efforts to keep my heart healthy and cholesterol levels normal, the side-view mirror of my life recently revealed that the “objects” I had worked so hard to overcome (bad eating habits and lack of daily exercise) were closer than they appeared.
Somehow, I lost focus and little by little indulged in foods that I should have avoided. A reminder of this warning occurred following a routine blood cholesterol screening at which time I discovered that my cholesterol levels were elevated. In looking back, I failed to steer clear of these “objects” and allowed the comfort of my progress to change my direction. I didn’t take heed to the warning that these things were closer than they appeared. I have since readjusted my focus from the bad habits of my past and have started back eating a heart-healthy balanced diet that includes “meatless Mondays”, walking daily to surpass my 10k step goal and doing cardio exercises after work every other day.
As you travel through life, don’t let your past cloud your vision. Adjust your focus and keep moving forward to the possibilities that are in front of you. While it’s necessary to occasionally look through the rear and side-view mirrors to see if there are any dangers near you, you must also avoid being distracted or tempted by “objects” (failed relationships, addictions, low self-esteem, bad eating habits) that you’ve worked hard to overcome. They are hiding in the blind spot of your shortcomings and will deceive you.
So, the next time you look through the passenger side view mirror reflect on what Philippians 3:13 teaches us about how we can live without regret or temptation by “…forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead”.