Monday, May 4, 2009

Protecting Ourselves from Our Past

A friend once wrote the following on her blog:

"I need to be willing to protect myself from my past to prevent its influence on my future."

That is one of the most profound comments I have read on any blog. It captures perfectly my view of the heart of repentance - and it is SO difficult without constant attention, which, in turn, makes it difficult to keep it at bay and in the past. Talk about a paradox.

In order to leave the past behind and pursue perfection, we need to actively consider, construct and pursue a new present - one that will build a more sure future. It's not just about avoiding degrading things, as important as that is; it's about developing a Christ-like heart and life.


Jen said...

My past has been very challenging and I have learned to be grateful for it. I am the person that I am because of the experiences I have had, even though they have been very difficult at times. I think it is important to let go of the past, but to remember that it is an important part of who we are today and even if it doesn't seem like it, it is purposeful in our development and growth. It took me a long time to be grateful for the experiences that make me whom I am today. I am grateful for the Lord's healing power to allow me to feel whole, but the experiences of the past to help me understand that which I never could have otherwise.

Stephen said...

Is this the post explaining why you are cutting back from blogging?

I hope all is well with you

Papa D said...

"the experiences of the past to help me understand that which I never could have otherwise."

Amen, Jen.

Stephen, no - the timing was coincidental. Right now, all is well - and, I hope, about to get even better. I have a post scheduled for Sunday that will explain more fully.

Anonymous said...

I have been a long time reader-just enjoying the uplifting posts that you have. This post was extremely timely for some current. Protecting ourselves from the past seems to be more than just forgetting it or learning from it. This is something that I have been hit with the past two days. I am learning that it is a matter of having faith in the atonement to change us. So that even if the past was difficult or less than ideal, you know that you are a different person. You must have faith that the Lord has healed you and that though the past has helped to shape you, the healing through the atonement has shaped and change you more.

Anonymous said...

yikes. sorry about the typos on that last comment.

Papa D said...

"I am learning that it is a matter of having faith in the atonement to change us."

Amen, Anon. That is my firend's conclusion, as well, and it is spot-on. It's also why I believe in "proactive" repentance (character acquisition) as much as "reactive" repentance (feeling bad about previous mistakes). The Atonement gives us the hope that efforts to change our very nature will be worth it - to act in faith that there is an ultimate reward that we can't see now.

Mama D said...

I like your friend's quote, Ray.

I read on news that Pres Monson spoke to UVU graduates this week. He encouraged the graduates to:

"glance backward, reach outward, press forward."

That applies to a multiplicity of life experiences, including repentance.

I believe the atonement helps us reach the point where we can glance backward but not stare, reach outward instead of hiding inwardly, and press forward rather than stagnating on a plateau of fear or complacency.

Anonymous said...

That's great stuff MD-it can be easy to get mired in the past whilst trying to leave it behind.Horor has it's own fascination,and it can be hard to face front when you can feel the ghosts at your shoulder.It takes faith in something more powerful than our past.