Excerpted from The Quest
THE PAST IS IMPORTANT … BUT!
The past is the raw material of the present, but the past is not a blueprint for the present! Give thanks for the lessons of the past. No matter how painful they were, they have given you an awareness of who and what you are. Many people recovering from an alcohol addiction state, "Thank God for my alcoholism" and mean it! What they are grateful for is the fact that the disease utterly forced them to connect with their own spirituality.
Instead of fearing the past or resisting and resenting it, use all of the raw material of the past, the good as well as the "bad," to design a new blueprint for the present. Looking back with fear or resentment is dragging the limitations of the past into the now, and that's like a boat dragging an anchor. Life is progress, and each now moment is a stepping-stone that leads to the next now moment. You can't change the past. In fact, there is no need to because the real you doesn't dwell there anymore.
THE FUTURE IS IMPORTANT … BUT!
What about the future? Can you believe that if you keep on thinking the same thoughts, saying the same words, doing the same things, going in the same direction, the future will be any different than now? To look to the future as a savior without changing the present is to think an orange tree can grow from an acorn.
Yes, you can change the direction of your life, but changes can 't happen in the past or the future; they can only happen in the now. At each now moment there exists an unlimited amount of possibilities, which makes anytime a good time for a new beginning. In fact, every moment is a new beginning.
You don't have to wait for a new year to resolve to make a new life. You are, right now, at the junction of what you were and what you can be. This junction of your life, this now moment, is ripe with possibilities … this "now" moment contains all of the good that you can ever hope to have. At each of these junctions, you decide what road you will take.
When you think of how you want your life to unfold, it may seem awesome, but when you are at Possibility Junction, everything is possible. All you really have to remember is that God is with you, because God lives at Possibility Junction. The God which dwells within you and has given you a new vision of yourself will keep you on course. The God which has allowed the vision will, with your cooperation, fulfill that vision.
BEGIN WHERE YOU ARE
Look for the seed of good in every situation, and you will see that the fields are already ripe for harvesting. All you will ever need is yours—Now. Begin where you are. Do what you can. Even a small effort to change, to grow, to improve, will bring astonishing results. When you desire to change and you make an effort to change. God rushes forth to meet you. As in the story of the Prodigal Son, God waits for us to return "home." When we do, God immediately responds to us with an outpouring of everything we need—Now.
So walk forward and don't turn back. (You can't drive a car by looking in the rearview mirror.) If you want to discover the genuine you—the person that you really are—release the person that you were. When you yearn for the past, you make yourself a slave to the past. When you learn from the past, you become a master of the present.
You can choose to build on what you were, but you are not what you were. You can focus on what you will be, but you are not what you will be. What you are is what you are right now—the inheritor of all of God's gifts. Now, this moment, is the first moment in the rest of your eternity. You can start it fresh with God.