Monday, November 15, 2010

Rear View Mirror

The other day while parking, I looked out the rearview mirror and to my absolute horror I saw that I was backing up into and UP a tree!!

However, (before you CLICK HERE to read about bad driving), I realized that I was just driving up a sloped parking lot!

The view that I had of what was behind me was all messed up because my center of attention was all wrong.

So in the end I did park safely! (No pun intended).

I simply adjusted the rearview mirror.

Which got me to thinking about how I look at what has happened in my life.

All the things that are SO yesterday.

SO last year.

SO high school.

Is my “rearview” of what has occurred in my life lined up correctly, or is it skewed (ever so slightly or so considerably) that I don’t quite see the whole picture – the real picture?

Driving is a great metaphor of life.

For example, I get in a car to drive forward – not backward.

95% of my time in the car is in DRIVE, not reverse.

And the windshield, compared to that rearview mirror placed front and center, is my entire view.  (At least it should be)

The rearview mirror is positioned in its exact place for safety.

For precaution.

And for reminders, when necessary.

It was never put there for me to stare into or focus on while I drive forward.

No, that would be a bad, bad idea.

Not only for me but for everyone else on the road!!

Yet, there have been times in my life when I have insisted that going forward means not to let go of the past.

When 95% of my efforts have been in looking in REVERSE, and wondering WHY I couldn’t go forward.

With the rearview mirror being the center of my attention and the vast windshield being completely ignored.

And those times have been bad.

Bad for me and very bad for everyone else around.

And so the other day, after being so extremely grateful that I didn’t really backup into and UP a tree, I decided that I better start adjusting my rearview mirror correctly.

And that requires me to rely upon the enabling and redeeming power of the Atonement.

Oh, there is a lot I need to learn!!

And there is a LOT He wants to teach me!

1 comment:

  1. I love the analogy! And isn't it a tender mercy that we have our "rear view mirrors"?! Because of them, we have a different perspective than we do out our front windshields. We can see and appreciate things as they really are, because of the wisdom we gain from hindsight. Looking at the past and where we once were is a big key to feeling grateful. To everything there is a season...

    There are definitely times in my life when I've had to look back to see what was going on back there. Not only behind me, but out the rear window, as well. I realized that my
    car" was filled with messes and life. Without my mirror to keep me aware, I might miss noticing some things that i need to clean up, or people I need to pay attention to. It takes extra care to navigate a path using the mirror, but that care often lends itself to greater insight, and opportunity for growth.

    most of our lives are spent going forward. Once while driving through the Irish countryside, we went down a road for quite a spell before discovering it ended abruptly at a large lake. And by "abruptly", I mean it was paved all the way to the sheer drop off down to the water 10 feet or so below.

    The road was narrow, and there was positively NO room to safely turn around. To get out of there, we our only option was to drive in reverse, which took careful, cautious planning and concentration. Happily, we, and our rental car, made it back to the main road.

    Sure, we'd seen some sights, and it was attractive scenery. But ultimately, there clearly wasn't, any happiness to be found by traveling down that dead-end road. So grateful I was for the insights I gained by looking back.