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A revelation came to me that nothing can be more profound in the lives of God’s people than the inspiring experiences one creates when they pull forward and use knowledge gained from the past.  When you examine your past, you might recall many great accomplishments which enabled you to achieve an improved lifestyle. On the other hand, there might be experiences that you wish not to repeat in the future.

Ronald E. Osborn said, “Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.” Our past can be a revelation to our future. From a positive prospective, we should be optimistic about our future no matter how terrible the past has been. Quoting John F. Kennedy, “the greater our knowledge increases, the greater our ignorance unfolds.”

Every day we have an opportunity to improve our situation in life without too much effort or pain.  Our lives aren’t stagnating as some may lead you to believe but rather, they are fluid.  Life transitions from one moment to the next and from one day or year to the next one.

In the Bible, Paul expressed to the Philippians that he was putting the experiences of his past behind and moving forward to a much brighter future. Two thoughts come to mind from Paul’s words:

  1. There are times in life that we say things or do things that we are ashamed to have said or done. Acts of unkindness can never be erased but they can be forgiven by God.
  2. Paul incurred injuries, jail time, rejection and personal abuse. However, he learned to put these things behind and press on. To keep your wits, you will have to learn to do the same.

The notion of moving forward with knowledge gained from the past is depicted by the Sankofa bird. It’s a mythical bird that has been adopted as an important symbol in an African-American context to represent the need to reflect on the past in order to build a successful future.  The Sankofa image is printed on bookmarks that are available to LHP employees and to residents attending the Legacy Housing Foundation Good Times events. Alongside the beautiful image of the Sankofa bird are the words, “Move forward with wisdom learned from the past.”

As you transition into a New Year give some thought to your past with the idea of carrying the good things learned forward to improve your future. Never Give Up! Never Give Up! Never Give Up!

By Chaplain Ghosten