Letting Go of Yesterday

Today’s opportunities erase yesterday’s failures.
—Gene Brown

Around the country are houses for rehabilitation, also called “halfway houses,” where men and women who have fallen on hard times—incarceration, addiction, mental illness—have the opportunity to get a fresh start. In these homes they learn, some for the first time, the skills that will help them function well as they reenter society— filling out a job application, opening a bank account, shopping for groceries on a budget, and so forth. Every day these men and women face a choice: they can look backward, allowing their past to determine their identity, or they can imagine a brighter future for themselves. Which ones succeed? Which ones realize the destiny God has planned for them?
Those of us facing obstacles of our own have the same choice and challenge every day. Like the Bible character Ruth, we can choose to let go of the past and start the future in a new land (Ruth 1:16). Ruth was a woman of excellence because she wasn’t held hostage to her past. We can learn from yesterday, but we aren’t to live in it. The devil would love for us to stay stuck in the past. He wouldn’t even mind if, dreaming of an unrealistic future, we slacked off on what God has for us today. Each day we have the choice to embrace the future God has prepared for us.