RELIGION: Don’t live in reverse

I already know what you're going to say: "We've read this story before!"

OK, I admit it, I wrote this article for the February newsletter back in 2020, but I got so many fun and crazy responses that I thought I would resend it one more time.

My first car was a 1966 Buick Electra 225 (back in the day, we called it a deuce and a quarter). I bought it in 1973 for $200. What a great car it was. However, it developed two problems (before I wrecked it). One, the heater didn't work. Two, reverse didn't work. You can go without a heater, but it's hard to drive a car that doesn't go into reverse. Difficult, but not impossible.

I learned to drive with a no-backing-up mentality. I wouldn't park on a driveway unless it was built on a slope and I could roll my way back into the street. In parking lots, I looked for two empty spaces (one in front of the other), so I could pull through the first and park in the second as if I had backed in. I got pretty good at it, making it through most of my junior year not driving backward.

This is a terrible way to drive your car, but it's not a bad way to live your life. If you can learn to live without going in reverse, you can overcome many of the limitations that we put on ourselves.

There are many times when we say, "I know what I want to do, I know what I ought to do, but I have this history of failure -- I tried this before and it didn't work." That's the driving-in-reverse approach. It's the opposite of what we're called to do.

Remember the words of Paul.

But one thing I do: "Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:13-14).

Are you stuck in reverse? Are there some things today that you need to forget as you make a conscious effort to drive forward? Forget what's in the rear-view mirror, forget what lies behind. Look ahead and press on toward the prize.


James "Skip" French is the pastor of Highland Christian Church, 1500 Forest Hills Blvd. in Bella Vista. Opinions expressed are those of the author.