We all have a certain stigma concerning the past. Things are usually said like “don’t bring up the past” in a sharp tone, or “forget the past” and so on. Though I understand the negative side of the past and the power it can wield over a future, it still can’t be ignored nor can it not be learned from. The past can be one of our greatest educational experiences in preparing us for a better future. I said this recently and I think this sums up the downside of past failures.
Don’t give past failures the power to neutralize your future successes. Don’t abort possibilities and goals by building monuments to past experiences that brought no reward. Instead, learn, persevere, and try again. Never give up what you know is possible!
However… the upside.
Thomas Jefferson realized the impact on the future that correct teaching of history would be in guiding the future of a nation. He wrote, “History, by apprising them [students] of the past, will enable them to judge of the future.” We understand that living in the past, or the rehearsing of previous hurts, is a detriment to progress both individually and corporately.
However, what we learn from the past will affect our behavior determining whether we increase the timeline of our growth, or remain stuck in a past destroying hope for a better tomorrow.
Living in the present is not an isolated position. Ignoring the past and thinking the future doesn’t exist is believing the present is isolated. Our present has one arm connected to our past while the other is connected to our future. The past has shaped our present and our present will shape our future. Interestingly, we are not bound by our past because we can change decisions in our present to reshape our future. If you do not like the past – change the future by sowing seeds (making different decisions) in the present to change the future.
Destiny is your experience created by your decisions. Right now was your future a year ago… 10 years ago… 30 years ago. My decisions created my present which was my future – my destiny. I can talk about my future and my hopes and aspirations, but it will remain a pipe-dream if I don’t make decisions to create it. My future will always remain there and fleeting if I never make a decision to make it a reality. Vision should not remain a vision the whole life – it’s a destination to be reached, a goal to be experienced. My wife Laci once said “You won’t see an ending without first seeing the vision, & without taking action, the experience will be dead.”
Leadership not only creates a personal future, but our decisions create the future of others who live under the consequences of our decisions. Those in spiritual leadership can recall Adam and Eve. Governmental leadership can recall all despots and tyrants both current and past and how their personal decisions subjected all citizens to be submitted to their consequences. Adolf Hitler subjected all of Germany to the suffering consequences of his perilous decisions.
We in leadership have been given something called power which is the faculty or capacity to act, the strength and potency to accomplish something. It is the vital energy to make choices and decisions. We possess the steering wheel to provide direction for a country.
Spiritual leadership of a nation is extremely important to providing the keys to a principle reformation in each nation. Returning to a political principled approach in government establishes trust in the people, promotes development and innovation, and creates a national calm and peace. These are just a few of the benefits of such a revival. Instead of bemoaning the failing systems, the personnel in office, bad policies, spiritual leadership should instead do what they are supposed to do – LEAD!
Dr. Reuben Egolf