02 Jan 12 The Past


As I was listening to a sermon yesterday, I started taking notes. This is not a common practice for me. Usually I sit and listen, trying to stay focused and conscious, and hopefully remember at least one thing the pastor said. It’s not that I am a reluctant church goer, but more that I have trouble just sitting and listening to anything for over 5 minutes. I can’t meditate worth a squat, either. Anyhow, I did find a few nuggets to ponder in the sermon that I thought I would share.

The idea of letting go of the past came up. Looking forward to the future was discussed. Then it dawned on me a certain paradox we have. We are always told to let go of the past when it is painful, but told to hold to good memories for dear life. Can we really do that? Is it possible to just let go of all the old painful memories, and hold on to only the good warm fuzzy ones?

Isn’t that still living in the past? If we are to move forward, unhindered, we are to let go of the past. Doesn’t that mean all of it? I mean, think about it. How can we do one without the other? We either let go, or we don’t. How can you say it’s healthy to hang on to the past? How can you say it is healthy to give today a totally blank slate with which to move on from?

I realize that the underlying message is to get rid of things that hurt us so that we can move forward healed and unafraid. That being said, that is not how we always phrase it.

“Let go of the past.”

“Quit living in the past.”

“That was yesterday.”

“Today is a new day!”

All those statements have the connotation of negative things to let go of. But are those the statements that you hang onto if the memories are good?

“Remember the good times.”

“Take lots of pictures so you can remember today!”

“That is a story to tell your grandchildren!”

Those are all statements with connotation of good things to hang onto. They do not go both ways.

Yesterday shapes who you are today, but it does not dictate who you are to become tomorrow.

Past, present, future: live in all of them.



  1. Gayle Masserant

    Hi Sarah!!

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