Windshields and Rear View Mirrors, by S. Sharonlu Sheridan, OSF

The designers and manufacturers of cars work to make their product safe, convenient, and comfortable, among other things. They have added little goodies like lights that go on automatically when the key is turned, and stay on for a full minute after the key is removed:  windshield wipers that have several speeds depending on the rain falling, windows that open automatically on the driver’s side, but require manual return to the closed position, so that children (or adults acting like children) do not get their heads caught in a rising window.

One thing you will find in all models is this:  the windshield will be very much larger than the rear view mirror, and rightly so.  We need to see what is in front of us in order to be sure we are going where we want to go, and safely.

The rear view mirror shows us where we were and what is following us.  Those are very important things to know, but not as important as what is ahead of us.  So the mirror is smaller.  In addition the picture in the mirror is distorted, unlike the clear view we have through the windshield.  Well, the view will be clear unless we have allowed mud, dust, rainspots etc. to cloud it.

By this time you have probably surmised where this is going when applied to the life of the person driving.  If you were to look at the rear view mirror most of the time,  you would be a prime subject for an accident.  You cannot always be looking back.  That image is a convenience, a checkpoint, but not a direction.  The windshield is there for good direction.  But even so, the direction may be distorted by  the things mentioned above. In any venture, keep your eye on what is ahead of you.  Check now and then on the past, but do not dwell there.  And be sure that trivial things do not distort the clarity of  your vision.

We all have things in our lives that we regret.  For some it is a fleeting remembrance that pops up and fades.  For other it is almost like the filter through which they view everything.

I may have told this anecdote before, but I think it bears repeating.

Jess had repented of many evil things in her life,  and when she died she was still full of remorse fo them.  When she was face to face with Jesus she began tearfully to enumerate all of them.  Jesus said to her, ‘I do not remember those things! I only remember that you loved me.'”

St. Paul says this. “Just one thing: forgetting what lies behind, but straining forward to what lies ahead, I continue my pursuit toward the goal.” Cor. 3,13-14

Blessings on pursuing your goal,

Sharonlu OSF
Sisters of St. Francis, Oldenburg

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