Imagine what the world would be like if everyone always walked backwards to get where they wanted to go. Think of the confusion and chaos. Why would anyone even want to do something so ridiculous? It just seems silly and useless to think about it right? Most people would even argue that I was crazy for making such an absurd suggestion. I would probably hear something along the lines like, “Don’t you know how long it would take me to get there?” Or maybe something like, “I don’t have time for these games.” So my question is why are so many people doing it?
Many are using a metaphorical mirror daily and don’t even know it. It’s taking them forever to reach their destinations and when they do arrive, it’s either no longer important or worse they’ve arrived to the party too late. What happens after missing the party? We try going home but it’s taking forever. If only we could walk normal.
When I’m speaking to young people about making plans, goals and dreams for their lives, I try to show them how God plays a role in it all. I have one of the kids go out into the hallway and another child will hide a book somewhere in the room. When she comes back into the room I say, “I hid a book somewhere and you need to find it but oh by the way, here’s your mirror and you can only walk backwards.” After the strange looks and giggles from everyone else in the room, the mission begins. The other kids know where the book is but have no clue what’s really going on. Time passes on and eventually the long-lost book is found and things get back to order.
I ask anyone if they understood the meaning of this activity, but my replies are mostly only blank stares. We go through the process of how long it took to find the book and then I ask, “Could she have found it sooner if she had been able to walk forward like normal?” Of course the answer is yes. Here’s my point I tell them, “Then why are you always looking back and judging yourself by your past mistakes? How are you ever going to move ahead if you’re always looking behind you?”
In order to have success (and not the world’s definition of success), we must let the past go. Did we make mistakes? Yes, of course we did. Is something we have done caused pain to another? Probably. Are there consequences? Most definitely. Are we going to let those things have control over us? We shouldn’t. God’s plan for us is to not live in condemnation and he said exactly those words in Romans 8:1 “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.”
I certainly had a mirror that I carried around for a long time but decided to finally put it down. It’s amazing when you can get beyond yourself how God can then do His work.
I want to thank Scot Phelps, the Director of A&M Partnership, for sharing this activity with me last year when he provided some training for my work facility. My hope for this activity is to makes impressions on other people just as it did for me.