How was last year for you? What about the last few years? Do you know that experts in brain and behavior will argue that your memories are what define you? They have a point.
Can you imagine how you would experience yourself without memories? While you don’t live in the past (hopefully), you live from it, even if it’s just yesterday.
In work terms, you have a history. Made up of successes, failures, pride and embarrassment, you can catalogue your story into what today is called a CV, or resume.
What is harder to catalogue is your relationship to your past. Not just to when you were born, but going back to previous generations, to times when decisions and actions were shaping your story.
This relationship will contain elements of joy and happiness, as well as sadness with regrets.
And it can shape how you work week by week. You may not be conscious of it, but the truth is that events which took place 120 years ago will still be influencing your career.
So how do you develop a good relationship with your past; harnessing and learning from the positives, and finding freedom (and learning) from the negatives?
The Son of Man had a perfect relationship with his past. In fact, his past was profoundly present with him. No guilt, no regrets, it was totally harnessed to shape his story. You can see it charted in the Old Testament, but its reality stretches back even further: forever.
Here’s the uniqueness of his assets to you. In saying before (Abraham was born) I am, he is revealing himself as Lord of the “before”, or more personally, Lord of your “before”. So now as you enter a New Year, phase, or stage, you can take a power with you which, when harnessed, will enhance your present.
Lord of your “before”, means that your failures and errors can be dissolved in the powerful solution of his forgiveness.
The wounds from your past can be healed by the timeless Lord of wholeness. Even more startling, is that your past can be replaced by his, without erasing your story.
Perhaps you see some of your past as wasted. Is he not able to restore locust-eaten years? Even if you have lost some joyful memories, he can bring them back to mind by renewing your thinking.
But it’s not all about leaving things behind. The Son of Man showed Thomas his own wounds from the Cross. Not all wounds will disappear. Some limping walks are more authentic than unhindered pride.
As this year unfolds, may I suggest that you invite the Lord of “before” to teach you how to harness your past, to enrich your present. Mysteriously, he will also harness your past to his.
That’s a CV or resume to use as you go forward.
57 “You are not yet fifty years old,” they said to him, “and you have seen Abraham!”
58 “Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” 59 At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds.
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